Isaiah 48:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass,

King James Bible
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

American Standard Version
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I knew that thou art stubborn, and thy neck is as an iron sinew, and thy forehead as brass.

English Revised Version
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Webster's Bible Translation
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Isaiah 48:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

ἀλμενιχακά in Plut., read Porph., viz., in the letter of Porphyrios to the Egyptian Anebo in Euseb. praep. iii. 4, init.: τάς τε εἰς τοὺς δεκανοὺς τομὰς καὶ τοὺς ὡροσκόποὺς καὶ τοὺς λεγομένους κραταιοὺς ἡγεμόνας, ὧν καὶ ὀνόματα ἐν τοῖς ἀλμενιχιακοῖς φέρεται; compare Jamblichos, de Mysteriis, viii. 4: τά τε ἑν τοῖς σαλμεσχινιακοῖς μέρος τι βραχύτατον περιέχει τῶν ̔Ερμαικῶν διατάξεων. This reading σαλμεσχινιακοῖς has been adopted by Parthey after two codices and the text in Salmasius, de annis clim. 605. But ἀλμενιχιακοῖς is favoured by the form Almanach (Hebr. אלמנק, see Steinschneider, Catal. Codd. Lugduno-Batav. p. 370), in which the word was afterwards adopted as the name of an astrological handbook or year-book. In Arabic the word appears to me to be equivalent to 'l-mnâch, the encampment (of the stars); but to all appearance it was originally an Egyptian word, and possibly the Coptic monk (old Egyptian mench), a form or thing formed, is hidden beneath it.

Isaiah 47:12Then follows the concluding strophe, which, like the first, announces to the imperial city in a triumphantly sarcastic tone its inevitable fate; whereas the intermediate strophes refer rather to the sins by which this fate has been brought upon it. "Come near, then, with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy witchcrafts, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth: perhaps thou canst profit, perhaps thou wilt inspire terror. Thou art wearied through the multitude of thy consultations; let the dissectors of the heavens come near, then, and save thee, the star-gazers, they who with every new moon bring things to light that will come upon thee. Behold, they have become like stubble: fire has consumed them: there is not a red-hot coal to warm themselves, a hearth-fire to sit before. So is it with thy people, for whom thou hast laboured: thy partners in trade from thy youth, they wander away every one in his own direction; no one who brings salvation to thee." Hitzig and others adopt the simple rendering, "Persevere, then, with thine enchantments." It is indeed true, that in Leviticus 13:5 בּ עמד signifies "to remain standing by anything," i.e., to persevere with it, just as in Ezekiel 13:5 it signifies to keep one's standing in anything; in 2 Kings 23:3, to enter upon anything; and in Ecclesiastes 8:3, to engage in anything; but there is no reason for taking it here in any other sense than in Isaiah 47:13. Babylon is to draw near with all the processes of the black art, wherein בּאשׁר, according to our western mode of expression, equivalent to בּהם אשׁר, Ges. 123, 2*) it had been addicted to abundance of routine from its youth upwards (יגעאתּ with an auxiliary pathach for יגעתּ); possibly it may be of some use, possibly it will terrify, i.e., make itself so terrible to the approaching calamity, as to cause it to keep off. The prophet now sees in spirit how Babylon draws near, and how it also harasses itself to no purpose; he therefore follows up the עמדי־נא, addressed in pleno to Babylon, with a second challenge commencing with יעמדוּ־נא. Their astrologers are to draw near, and try that power over the future to which they lay claim, by bringing it to bear at once upon the approaching destruction for the benefit of Babylon. עצתיך is a singular form connected with a feminine plural suffix, such as we find in Psalm 9:15; Ezekiel 35:11; Ezra 9:15, connected with a masculine plural suffix. Assuming the correctness of the vowel-pointing, the singular appears in such cases as these to have a collective meaning, like the Arabic pl. fractus; for there is no ground to suppose that the Aramaean plural form ‛ētsâth is used here in the place of the Hebrew. Instead of שׁמים הברו (which would be equivalent to הברו אשׁרא, the keri reads שׁמים הברי, cutters up of the heavens, i.e., planners or dissectors of them, from hâb, dissecare, resecare (compare the rabbinical habhârâh, a syllable, i.e., segmentum vocabuli, and possibly also the talmudic 'ēbhârı̄m, limbs of a body). The correction proposed by Knobel, viz., chōbherē, from châbhār, to know, or be versed in, is unnecessary. Châzâh b' signifies here, as it generally does, to look with pleasure or with interest at anything; hence Luther has rendered it correctly, die Sternkucker (Eng. ver. star-gazers). They are described still further as those who make known with every new moon (lechŏdâshı̄m, like labbeqârı̄m, every morning, Isaiah 33:2, etc.), things which, etc. מאשׁר is used in a partitive sense: out of the great mass of events they select the most important, and prepare a calendar or almanack (ἀλμενιχιακά in Plutarch) for the state every month. But these very wise men cannot save themselves, to say nothing of others, out of the power of that flame, which is no comforting coal-fire to warm one's self by, no hearth-fire (Isaiah 44:16) to sit in front of, but a devouring, eternal, i.e., peremptory flame (Isaiah 33:14). The rendering adopted by Grotius, Vitringa, Lowth, Gesenius, and others, "non supererit pruna ad calendum," is a false one, if only because it is not in harmony with the figure. "Thus shall they be unto thee," he continues in Isaiah 47:15, i.e., such things shall be endured to thy disgrace by those about whom thou hast wearied thyself (אשׁר equals בּהם אשׁר). The learned orders of the Chaldeans had their own quarter, and enjoyed all the distinction and privileges of a priestly caste. What follows cannot possibly be understood as relating to these masters of astrology and witchcraft, as Ewald supposes; for, according to the expression שׁחרהּ in Isaiah 47:11, they would be called שׁחריך. Moreover, if they became a prey of the flames, and therefore were unable to flee, we should have to assume that they were burned while taking flight (Umbreit). סחריך are those who carried on commercial intercourse with the great "trading city" (Ezekiel 17:4), as Berossos says, "In Babylon there was a great multitude of men of other nations who had settled in Chaldea, and they lived in disorder, like the wild beasts;" compare Aeschylus, Pers. 52-3, Βαβυλὼν δ ̓ ἡ πολύχρυσος πάμμικτον ὄχλον πέμπει. All of these are scattered in the wildest flight, אל־עברו אישׁ, every one on his own side, viz., in the direction of his own home, and do not trouble themselves about Babylon.

Isaiah 48:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I knew

Isaiah 46:12 Listen to me, you stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

Psalm 78:8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright...

Zechariah 7:11,12 But they refused to listen, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear...

obstinate. Heb. hard

Jeremiah 5:3 O LORD, are not your eyes on the truth? you have stricken them, but they have not grieved; you have consumed them...

Ezekiel 3:4-7 And he said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them...

Daniel 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne...

Romans 2:5 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation...

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

and they

Exodus 32:9 And the LORD said to Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people:

Exodus 33:3,5 To a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the middle of you; for you are a stiff necked people...

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked.

Deuteronomy 31:27 For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day...

2 Kings 17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers...

2 Chronicles 30:8 Now be you not stiff necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary...

2 Chronicles 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck...

Nehemiah 9:16,17,28 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and listened not to your commandments...

Psalm 75:5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.

Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

Jeremiah 7:26 Yet they listened not to me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.

Jeremiah 19:15 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold...

Zechariah 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law...

Acts 7:51 You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you.

they brow

Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; and you had a whore's forehead, you refused to be ashamed.

Ezekiel 3:7-9 But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not listen to me...

Cross References
Acts 7:51
"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

Exodus 32:9
And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.

Deuteronomy 31:27
For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death!

2 Chronicles 36:13
He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD, the God of Israel.

Proverbs 29:1
He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.

Isaiah 46:12
"Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness:

Ezekiel 2:4
The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.'

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