Isaiah 29:18
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.

King James Bible
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

American Standard Version
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and out of darkness and obscurity the eyes of the blind shall see.

English Revised Version
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

Webster's Bible Translation
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Isaiah 29:18 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

This enigma of the future the prophet holds out before the eyes of his contemporaries. The prophet received it by revelation of Jehovah; and without the illumination of Jehovah it could not possibly be understood. The deep degradation of Ariel, the wonderful deliverance, the sudden elevation from the abyss to this lofty height - all this was a matter of faith. But this faith was just what the nation wanted, and therefore the understanding depending upon it was wanting also. The shemu‛âh was there, but the bı̄nâh was absent; and all שׁמועה הבין was wrecked on the obtuseness of the mass. The prophet, therefore, who had received the unhappy calling to harden his people, could not help exclaiming (Isaiah 29:9), "Stop, and stare; blind yourselves, and grow blind!" התמהמהּ, to show one's self delaying (from מההּ, according to Luzzatto the reflective of תּמהמהּ, an emphatic form which is never met with), is connected with the synonymous verb תּמהּ, to be stiff with astonishment; but to שׁעע, to be plastered up, i.e., incapable of seeing (cf., Isaiah 6:10), there is attached the hithpalpel of the same verb, signifying "to place one's self in such circumstances," se oblinere (differently, however, in Psalm 119:16, Psalm 119:47, compare Isaiah 11:8, se permulcere). They could not understand the word of God, but they were confused, and their eyes were, so to speak, festered up: therefore this self-induced condition would become to them a God-appointed punishment. The imperatives are judicial words of command.

This growth of the self-hardening into a judicial sentence of obduracy, is proclaimed still more fully by the prophet. "They are drunken, and not with wine; they reel, and not with meth. For Jehovah hath poured upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and bound up your eyes; the prophets and your heads, the seers, He has veiled. And the revelation of all this will be to you like words of a sealed writing, which they give to him who understands writing, saying, Pray, read this; but he says, I cannot, it is sealed. And they give the writing to one who does not understand writing, saying, Pray, read this; but he says, I do not understand writing." They were drunken and stupid; not, however, merely because they gave themselves up to sensual intoxication (יין, dependent upon שׁכרוּ, ebrii vino), but because Jehovah had given them up to spiritual confusion and self-destruction. All the punishments of God are inflicted through the medium of His no less world-destroying than world-sustaining Spirit, which, although not willing what is evil, does make the evil called into existence by the creature the means of punishing evil. Tardēmâh is used here to signify the powerless, passive state of utter spiritual insensibility. This judgment had fallen upon the nation in all its members, even upon the eyes and heads of the nation, i.e., the prophets. Even they whose duty is was to see to the good of the nation, and lead it, were blind leaders of the blind; their eyes were fast shut (עצּם, the intensive form of the kal, Isaiah 33:15; Aram. עצּם; Talmud also עמּץ: to shut the eyes, or press them close), and over their heads a cover was drawn, as over sleepers in the night. Since the time of Koppe and Eichhorn it has become a usual thing to regard את־הנּביאים and החזים as a gloss, and indeed as a false one (compare Isaiah 9:13-14); but the reason assigned - namely, that Isaiah's polemics are directed not against the prophets, but against the stupid staring people - is utterly groundless (compare Isaiah 28:7, and the polemics of his contemporary Micah, e.g., Isaiah 3:5-8). Moreover, the author of a gloss would have been more likely to interpret ראשׁיכם by השּׂרים or הכּהנים (compare Job 9:24). And Isaiah 29:11, Isaiah 29:12 are also opposed to this assumption of a gloss. For by those who understood what was written (sēpher), it is evident that the prophets and rulers of the nation are intended; and by those who did not understand it, the great mass of the people. To both of them, "the vision of all," i.e., of all and everything that God had shown to His true prophets, was by the judgment of God completely sealed. Some of them might have an outward knowledge; but the inward understanding of the revelation was sealed to them. Some had not even this, but stared at the word of the prophet, just as a man who cannot read stares at what is written. The chethib has הסּפר; the keri ספר, though without any ground, since the article is merely generic. Instead of נא־זה קרא, we should write זה קרא־נא in both cases, as certain codices and old editions do.

Isaiah 29:18 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the deaf

Isaiah 29:10-12,24 For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers...

Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Isaiah 42:16-18 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known...

Deuteronomy 29:4 Yet the LORD has not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, to this day.

Psalm 119:18 Open you my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Proverbs 20:12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD has made even both of them.

Jeremiah 31:33,34 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, said the LORD...

Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up...

Matthew 13:14-16 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand...

Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you...

Mark 7:37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He has done all things well: he makes both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted...

Luke 7:22 Then Jesus answering said to them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and heard; how that the blind see...

John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father...

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God...

2 Corinthians 3:14-18 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same veil not taken away in the reading of the old testament...

2 Corinthians 4:2-6 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...

Ephesians 1:17-19 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory...

Ephesians 5:14 Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people...

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed...

Cross References
Matthew 11:5
the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

Mark 7:37
And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

John 9:7
and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

Psalm 119:18
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Proverbs 20:12
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.

Isaiah 29:11
And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, "Read this," he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed."

Isaiah 32:3
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention.

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