|Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
||Jehovah said to me, Take a large scroll and write on it in common script: Hasten the plunder, hurry the spoil.
||עָלָיו בְּחֶרֶט אֱנוֹשׁ לְמַהֵרשָׁלָלחָשׁבַּז ׃
|And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.
||And I called in reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to witness for me.
||וְאָעִידָה לִּי עֵדִים נֶאֱמָנִים אֵת אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶת־זְכַרְיָהוּ בֶּן יְבֶרֶכְיָהוּ ׃
|And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
||And when I had been with the prophetess, she conceived and gave birth to a son. And Jehovah said to me, Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.a
||וָאֶקְרַב אֶל־הַנְּבִיאָה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי קְרָא שְׁמוֹ מַהֵרשָׁלָלחָשׁבַּז ׃
|For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
||For before the child knows how to say, Father, or Mother, the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be brought before the king of Assyria.
||כִּי בְּטֶרֶם יֵדַע הַנַּעַר קְרֹא אָבִי וְאִמִּי יִשָּׂא אֶת־חֵיל דַּמֶּשֶׂק וְאֵת שְׁלַל שֹׁמְרוֹן לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר ׃
|The Lord spake also unto me again, saying,
||Jehovah addressed me again, and said,
||וַיֹּסֶף יְהוָה דַּבֵּר אֵלַי עוֹד לֵאמֹר ׃
|Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son;
||Because these people have rejectedthe Waters of Shiloah, which flow gently,and rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah,
||יַעַן כִּי מָאַס הָעָם הַזֶּה אֵת מֵי הַשִּׁלֹחַ הַהֹלְכִים לְאַט וּמְשׂוֹשׂ אֶת־רְצִין וּבֶן־רְמַלְיָהוּ ׃
|Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:
||therefore will my Lordcause to come up over themthe great and mighty waters of the River—the king of Assyria in all his glory.He will rise up over all his channelsand overflow all his banks.
||וְלָכֵן הִנֵּה אֲדֹנָי מַעֲלֶה עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת־מֵי הַנָּהָר הָעֲצוּמִים וְהָרַבִּים אֶת־מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וְאֶת־כָּל־כְּבוֹדוֹ וְעָלָה עַל־כָּל־אֲפִיקָיו וְהָלַךְ עַל־כָּל־גְּדוֹתָיו ׃
|And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.
||He will sweep into Judea like a floodand, passing through, reach the very neck;his outspread wings will spanthe breadth of your land, O Immanuel.
||וְחָלַף בִּיהוּדָה שָׁטַף וְעָבַר עַד־צַוָּאר יַגִּיעַ וְהָיָה מֻטּוֹת כְּנָפָיו מְלֹא רֹחַב־אַרְצְךָ עִמָּנוּאֵל ׃
|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; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.
||Though nations form pacts,they shall be routed.Give heed, all you distant lands!You may take courage in one another,but shall be in fear;you may arm yourselves,but shall be terrorized.
||רֹעוּ עַמִּים וָחֹתּוּ וְהַאֲזִינוּ כֹּל מֶרְחַקֵּי־אָרֶץ הִתְאַזְּרוּ וָחֹתּוּ הִתְאַזְּרוּ וָחֹתּוּ ׃
|Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
||Though you hold consultations,they shall come to nought;though you make proposals,they shall not prove firm: God is with us!
||עֻצוּ עֵצָה וְתֻפָר דַּבְּרוּ דָבָר וְלֹא יָקוּם כִּי עִמָּנוּ אֵל ׃
|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,
||Jehovah spoke to me, clasping my hand, and admonished me not to follow the ways of these people. For he said,
||כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה אֵלַי כְּחֶזְקַת הַיָּד וְיִסְּרֵנִי מִלֶּכֶת בְּדֶרֶךְ הָעָם־הַזֶּה לֵאמֹר ׃
|Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
||Do not call a conspiracy all that these peoplecall a conspiracy;be not afraid or awedby the thing they fear.
||לֹא־תֹאמְרוּן קֶשֶׁר לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יֹאמַר הָעָם הַזֶּה קָשֶׁר וְאֶת־מוֹרָאוֹ לֹא־תִירְאוּ וְלֹא תַעֲרִיצוּ ׃
|Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
||But sanctify Jehovah of Hosts,making him your fear, him your awe.
||אֶת־יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֹתוֹ תַקְדִּישׁוּ וְהוּא מוֹרַאֲכֶם וְהוּא מַעֲרִצְכֶם ׃
|And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
||And to you he will be a sanctuary,but to the two houses of Israela stumbling block or obstructing rock,and a snare, catching unawaresthe inhabitants of Jerusalem.
||וְהָיָה לְמִקְדָּשׁ וּלְאֶבֶן נֶגֶף וּלְצוּר מִכְשׁוֹל לִשְׁנֵי בָתֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְפַח וּלְמוֹקֵשׁ לְיוֹשֵׁב יְרוּשָׁלִָם ׃
|And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
||Many will stumble into them,and when they fall shall be broken,and when they become ensnaredshall be taken captive.
||וְכָשְׁלוּ בָם רַבִּים וְנָפְלוּ וְנִשְׁבָּרוּ וְנוֹקְשׁוּ וְנִלְכָּדוּ ׃
|Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
||For Jehovah has said, Bind up the testimony;seal the law among my disciples.
||צוֹר תְּעוּדָה חֲתוֹם תּוֹרָה בְּלִמֻּדָי ׃
|And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
||I will wait for Jehovah,who hides his face from the house of Jacob,and expect him.
||וְחִכִּיתִי לַיהוָה הַמַּסְתִּיר פָּנָיו מִבֵּית יַעֲקֹב וְקִוֵּיתִי־לוֹ ׃
|Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
||As for me and the children Jehovah has given me, we shall be signs and portents in Israel from Jehovah of Hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.
||הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי וְהַיְלָדִים אֲשֶׁר נָתַן־לִי יְהוָה לְאֹתוֹת וּלְמוֹפְתִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעִם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת הַשֹּׁכֵן בְּהַר צִיּוֹן ׃
|And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
||When men tell you to inquire of mediums and spiritists who huddle together and mutter, say to them, Should not a people inquire of their God? Should one inquireb of the dead on behalf of the living
||וְכִי־יֹאמְרוּ אֲלֵיכֶם דִּרְשׁוּ אֶל־הָאֹבוֹת וְאֶל־הַיִּדְּעֹנִים הַמְצַפְצְפִים וְהַמַּהְגִּים הֲלוֹא־עַם אֶל־אֱלֹהָיו יִדְרֹשׁ בְּעַד הַחַיִּים אֶל־הַמֵּתִים ׃
|To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
||for doctrine and for a testimony? Surely, while they utter such words devoid of light,
||לְתוֹרָה וְלִתְעוּדָה אִם־לֹא יֹאמְרוּ כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אֵין־לוֹ שָׁחַר ׃
|And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.
||they roam about embittered by hunger; and when they are hungry, they become enraged and, gazing upward, curse their king and their God.
||וְעָבַר בָּהּ נִקְשֶׁה וְרָעֵב וְהָיָה כִי־יִרְעַב וְהִתְקַצַּף וְקִלֵּל בְּמַלְכּוֹ וּבֵאלֹהָיו וּפָנָה לְמָעְלָה ׃
|And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
||They will look to the land, but there shall be a depressing scene of anguish and gloom; and thus are they banished into outer darkness.
||וְאֶל־אֶרֶץ יַבִּיט וְהִנֵּה צָרָה וַחֲשֵׁכָה מְעוּף צוּקָה וַאֲפֵלָה מְנֻדָּח ׃
Such a brief prophetic message on a “large scroll” is but the heading to a more expansive prophecy, especially as it is written “in common script” and thus intended for the common man. Word links to subsequent predictions confirm that it is the king of Assyria who “plunders” and “spoils” Jehovah’s people (cf. v 4): “I will commission him against a godless nation . . . to pillage for plunder, to spoliate for spoil” (Isaiah 10:6; cf. 33:1-4; 42:21-22; 49:24-26). Truthful witnesses will testify that Isaiah predicted these things before they happened, so that people can’t claim he said it after the fact.
Isaiah’s newborn son receives the name of the same portending words Isaiah writes on the scroll (v 1): Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz—“Hasten the Plunder, Hurry the Spoil.” The king of Assyria fulfills Isaiah’s prediction to Ahaz concerning Ephraim’s shattering as a nation (Isaiah 7:8-9) even during this child’s infancy. In his writings, Isaiah depicts Assyria as a hostile superpower from the North that sets a precedent for conquering the world by military force (Isaiah 10:13-14; 20:3-6; 37:18, 24-25). In that sense, ancient Assyria serves as a type of end-time superpower that repeats this scenario.
As Jehovah had warned Ahaz, so he warns Ahaz’ people. By calling them “these people” or “this people” (ha‘am hazzeh), Jehovah disavows their covenantal status (cf. Isaiah 6:9-10). As Ahaz proved disloyal to Jehovah, so Ahaz’ people prove disloyal to Ahaz. They favor the coalition of northern kings over the “waters of Shiloah which flow gently”—that is, over the Davidic dynasty Jehovah has appointed to rule over them. For conspiring to replace Ahaz, they will suffer worse than his rule—the rampaging River flooding beyond its borders—the king of Assyria at the height of his military power.
Isaiah portrays Assyria’s invasion of the land of Immanuel as a new Flood. His prophecy is fulfilled in the days of King Hezekiah—the prophesied Immanuel—when an army of a hundred-and-eighty-five thousand Assyrians besieges Jerusalem after Assyria has “destroyed all peoples and their lands” (Isaiah 36:1-2; 37:18). The “neck” leaves the head—Zion/Jerusalem—where a remnant of Jehovah’s people awaits deliverance (Isaiah 37:22-36; cf. 1:7-9). In an end-time context, Hezekiah serves as a type of Jehovah’s servant, while the archtyrant’s “outspread wings” may allude to modern warfare.
Forming alliances against Assyria’s aggression—as do Aram and Ephraim (Isaiah 7:1-6)—is to rely on an arm of flesh (Isaiah 20:5-6; 30:1-5), not on Jehovah or on the protection clause of his covenant. Keeping his law and word—the terms of his covenant—provides the only assurance against calamity in Jehovah’s Day of Judgment. All who fail to do so succumb to fear when the consequences of their evil actions stare them in the face. As God is with Immanuel and his righteous people to deliver them, so he is with the Assyrians to destroy the wicked of his people (v 4; Isaiah 10:3-6; cf. 36:10).
It is apparent from chapters 6-8 how alone Isaiah must have felt in his prophetic ministry in the face of his people’s estrangement from their God. Jehovah’s “clasping my hand” suggests both comfort and empowerment and denotes royal investiture in ancient Near Eastern emperor-vassal covenants. While many of “these people”—Jehovah’s alienated people—live in fear of conspiracies, the existence of conspiracies shouldn’t frighten them but cause them to turn back to their God. A righteous or reverential fear and awe of Jehovah serve as a safeguard against transgressing against his law and word.
A word chain in verses 12-14—“conspiracy/conspiracy,” “fear and awe/fear and awe,” “sanctify/sanctuary”—shows that trusting in Jehovah and exercising faith in him in times of wickedness aids the repentant soul to enter into his presence as Isaiah had entered into his presence (cf. Isaiah 6:1). Sanctifying Jehovah—honoring him by living a pure and consecrated life—leads to his sanctuary where he receives those who love him (vv 16-17; Isaiah 57:15). That sanctuary serves Jehovah’s holy ones as a place of protection in his Day of Judgment (Isaiah 4:3-6) while the unholy suffer perils and perish.
Instead of being a Rock of salvation to his unrepentant people (Isaiah 17:10; 26:4; 30:29; 44:8), Jehovah is a “stumbling block” and “obstructing rock,” letting them stumble over his word and fall prey to their enemies—to be broken, ensnared, and taken captive by the king of Assyria/Babylon in his Day of Judgment—the same as with the wicked of the world (Isaiah 10:3-6; 14:17; 24:17-18; 28:13). Because Jehovah is the same yesterday, today, and forever, what he does in ancient times—both for good and for evil—establishes a pattern for what he does in the end-time, when history repeats itself.
As biblical history shows, even when his people in general apostatize and Jehovah hides his face or presence from them, certain “disciples” remain loyal, as did the disciples or “sons of the prophets” anciently (2 Kings 2:3-7; 4:38; 6:1). At such times, Jehovah withdraws the testimony of his truth and the law of his covenant from among his people and preserves them among those willing to live by them. The singular pronouns “I will wait” and “I will expect” highlight the idea that only loyal individuals endure through his people’s dark phase and thus experience his deliverance (Isaiah 25:9; 30:18; 33:2).
In spite of an apparent prohibition that prevents Isaiah from prophesying directly among Jehovah’s people, he does so indirectly through the lives that he, his children, and protégé prince lead that testify of God’s Spirit with them. The very names they bear portend what Jehovah will do: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz—“Hasten the Plunder, Hurry the Spoil”; Shear-Jashub—“A Remnant Shall Repent/Return”; Immanuel—“God Is with Us”; and Isaiah—“Jehovah Will Save.” Jehovah may hide his face from his apostate people (v 17) but not from those among whom he dwells (Psalm 9:9-11; Isaiah 57:15).
So low do Jehovah’s people sink when they deny him and he withdraws his Spirit that some resort to the occult for enlightenment—for “doctrine” and for a “testimony.” The spirits of the dead who respond to such unlawful communications are undoubtedly wicked spirits, who, rather than illuminating people, lead them further into realms of darkness. The people’s lack of food—a covenant curse—instead of causing them to turn back to Jehovah and to his covenant, impels them to curse him and their king and to enter the realm of the dead themselves (cf. Leviticus 24:13-16; Ecclesiastes 10:20).
To those on whose behalf Jehovah doesn’t intervene to deliver them in his Day of Judgment, the land that formerly supplied their needs now presents a bleak prospect (cf. Isaiah 5:30). To be banished into that darkness or unknown is condemnation indeed: “Redress remains far from us and righteousness is unable to reach us. We look for light, but there prevails darkness; for a glimmer [of hope], but we walk amid gloom. We grope along the borders like the blind; we flounder like those without eyes. We stumble at noon as in the dark of night; in the prime of life we resemble the dead” (Isaiah 59:9-10).