Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 8:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For before the child - For my father and my mother, one MS. and the Vulgate have his father and his mother. The prophecy was accordingly accomplished within three years; when Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, went up against Damascus and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin, and also took the Reubenites and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and carried them captive to Assyria, 2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 16:9; 1 Chronicles 5:26.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For before … - This must have occurred in a short time - probably before the expiration of three years. A child would usually learn to address his parents in that time. In fact, the event here predicted occurred in less than three years from the time when the prophecy was spoken; see the notes at Isaiah 7:16.

Before the king of Assyria - By the king, or by his conquests. By the spoil of Samaria here, is to be understood, not the plunder which should be carried away from the city, but from the kingdom of Samaria. In other places, the land is called by the name of the capital; compare 2 Kings 17:26; 2 Kings 23:19; Jeremiah 31:5. The city of Samaria was not plundered until eighteen years after the time mentioned here by the prophet; Isaiah 8:5-6. These verses introduce again what was predicted in Isaiah 7:17, following, respecting the invasion of the land by the king of Assyria. The cause of the invasion is specified, and the consequences are foretold.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The prophet is to write on a large roll, or on a metal tablet, words which meant, "Make speed to spoil, hasten to the prey:" pointing out that the Assyrian army should come with speed, and make great spoil. Very soon the riches of Damascus and of Samaria, cities then secure and formidable, shall be taken away by the king of Assyria. The prophet pleads with the promised Messiah, who should appear in that land in the fulness of time, and, therefore, as God, would preserve it in the mean time. As a gentle brook is an apt emblem of a mild government, so an overflowing torrent represents a conqueror and tyrant. The invader's success was also described by a bird of prey, stretching its wings over the whole land. Those who reject Christ, will find that what they call liberty is the basest slavery. But no enemy shall pluck the believer out of Emmanuel's hand, or deprive him of his heavenly inheritance.