Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 8:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Associate yourselves "Know ye this" - God by his prophet plainly declares to the confederate adversaries of Judah, and bids them regard and attend to his declaration, that all their efforts shall be in vain.

The present reading, רעו rou, is subject to many difficulties; I follow that of the Septuagint, דעו deu, γνωτε . Archbishop Secker approves this reading. דעו deu know ye this, is parallel and synonymous to האזינו haazinu, give ear to It, in the next line. The Septuagint have likewise very well paraphrased the conclusion of this verse: "When ye have strengthened yourselves, ye shall be broken; and though ye again strengthen yourselves, again shall ye be broken;" taking חתו chottu as meaning the same with נשברו , shall be broken.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Associate yourselves - In the previous verses the prophet had seen the Assyrian coming up on the land like an overwhelming flood. He looked upon the danger, and his mind was turned to the pledge of safety which God had given. The name Immanuel, and the promise connected with the giving of that name Isaiah 7:16, reminded him of the perfect safety of the nation, for it was a pledge that God was with them; see Isaiah 8:10. In view of this pledge of the protection of God, this verse is a spirited apostrophe to the mighty host that was about to invade the land. Though confederated and vast, yet they could not prevail. They should be scattered, much as they might be prepared for victory, for God had given a pledge that he would defend his people.

Associate - There has been much variety among interpreters about the meaning of the Original word used here. It may mean “to be terrified, to be alarmed,” as well as to associate or become confederate. The Vulgate and Chaldee render it, ‹Be assembled, or congregated.‘ The Septuagint, ‹Know, ye nations,‘ etc. The Syriac, ‹Tremble, ye people,‘ etc. Still the notion of associating, confederating, or entering into an alliance, suits the connection better; answers to the parallelism in the latter part of the verse, and is equally consonant with the original.

O ye people - Ye people of Assyria. This is an apostrophe to the mighty multitudes that were to come up upon the land from that country.

And ye shall be broken in pieces - That is, though the confederacy be mighty, yet shall not prevail. It shall not accomplish that which you purpose - the entire destruction of the land of Judah.

Give ear, all ye of far countries - That should be particularly engaged in the confederacy - Assyria, and the kingdoms allied with it.

Gird yourselves - As if for war; that is, prepare yourselves thoroughly for conquest; see the note at Isaiah 5:27. The repetition of this shows the excited and agitated state of the prophet‘s mind. It is a strong, emphatic mode of expression - denoting that they should be certainly broken in pieces, notwithstanding the strength of their confederacy.

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
The Publishing Ministry, 150.4

My Instructor slowly and solemnly spoke the following words: “Form a confederacy; to whom they shall say, ‘Form a confederacy,’ and they shall be broken in pieces.” Three times were these words spoken. “Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us.” PM 150.4

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 617-8

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”—Manuscript 20, 1906. Ev 617.1

The Power of God in the Third Person—The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.—Special Testimonies, Series A, 10:37. (1897). Ev 617.2

In Co-operation With the Three Highest Powers—We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.—Special Testimonies, Series B, 7:51. (1905). Ev 617.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 122

“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers.... Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:6-9). 2SM 122.1

Again the Lord declares through the prophet Isaiah: 2SM 122.2

“Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. 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” (Isaiah 8:9-13). 2SM 122.3

There are those who question whether it is right for Christians to belong to the Free Masons and other secret societies. Let all such consider the scriptures just quoted. If we are Christians at all, we must be Christians everywhere, and must consider and heed the counsel given to make us Christians according to the standard of God's Word. 2SM 122.4

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