Isaiah 9:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;

King James Bible
The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

American Standard Version
The elder and the honorable man, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The aged and honourable, he is the head: and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

English Revised Version
The ancient and the honourable man, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

Webster's Bible Translation
The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

Isaiah 9:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The great light would not arise till the darkness had reached its deepest point. The gradual increase of this darkness is predicted in this second section of the esoteric addresses. Many difficult questions suggest themselves in connection with this section. 1. Is it directed against the northern kingdom only, or against all Israel? 2. What was the historical standpoint of the prophet himself? The majority of commentators reply that the prophet is only prophesying against Ephraim here, and that Syria and Ephraim have already been chastised by Tiglath-pileser. The former is incorrect. The prophet does indeed commence with Ephraim, but he does not stop there. The fates of both kingdoms flow into one another here, as well as in Isaiah 8:5., just as they were causally connected in actual fact. And it cannot be maintained, that when the prophet uttered his predictions Ephraim had already felt the scourging of Tiglath-pileser. The prophet takes his stand at a time when judgment after judgment had fallen upon all Israel without improving it. And one of these past judgments was the scourging of Ephraim by Tiglath-pileser. How much or how little of the events which the prophet looks back upon from this ideal standpoint had already taken place, it is impossible to determine; but this is a matter of indifference so far as the prophecy is concerned. The prophet, from his ideal standing-place, had not only this or that behind him, but all that is expressed in this section by perfects and aorists (Ges. 129, 2, b). And we already know from Isaiah 2:9; Isaiah 5:25, that he sued the future conversive as the preterite of the ideal past. We therefore translate the whole in the present tense. In outward arrangement there is no section of Isaiah so symmetrical as this. In chapter 5 we found one partial approach to the strophe in similarity of commencement, and another in chapter 2 in similarity of conclusion. But here Isaiah 5:25 is adapted as the refrain of four symmetrical strophes. We will take each strophe by itself.

Strophe 1. Isa 9:8-12 "The Lord sends out a word against Jacob, and it descends into Israel. And all the people must make atonement, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, saying in pride and haughtiness of heart, 'Bricks are fallen down, and we build with square stones; sycamores are hewn down, and we put cedars in their place.' Jehovah raises Rezin's oppressors high above him, and pricks up his enemies: Aram from the east, and Philistines from the west; they devour Israel with full mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still." The word (dâbâr) is both in nature and history the messenger of the Lord: it runs quickly through the earth (Psalm 147:15, Psalm 147:18), and when sent by the Lord, comes to men to destroy or to heal (Psalm 107:20), and never returns to its sender void (Isaiah 55:10-11). Thus does the Lord now send a word against Jacob (Jacob, as in Isaiah 2:5); and this heavenly messenger descends into Israel (nâphal, as in Daniel 4:28, and like the Arabic nazala, which is the word usually employed to denote the communication of divine revelation), taking shelter, as it were, in the soul of the prophet. Its immediate commission is directed against Ephraim, which has been so little humbled by the calamities that have fallen upon it since the time of Jehu, that the people are boasting that they will replace bricks and sycamores (or sycamines, from shikmin), that wide-spread tree (1 Kings 10:27), with works of art and cedars. "We put in their place:" nachaliph is not used here as in Job 14:7, where it signifies to sprout again (nova germina emittere), but as in Isaiah 40:31; Isaiah 41:1, where it is construed with כּח (strength), and signifies to renew (novas vires assumere). In this instance, when the object is one external to the subject, the meaning is to substitute (substituere), like the Arabic achlafa, to restore. The poorest style of building in the land is contrasted with the best; for "the sycamore is a tree which only flourishes in the plain, and there the most wretched houses are still built of bricks dried in the sun, and of knotty beams of sycamore."

(Note: Rosen, Topographisches aus Jerusalem.)

These might have been destroyed by the war, but more durable and stately buildings would rise up in their place. Ephraim, however, would be made to feel this defiance of the judgments of God (to "know," as in Hosea 9:7; Ezekiel 25:14). Jehovah would give the adversaries of Rezin authority over Ephraim, and instigate his foes: sicsēc, as in Isaiah 19:2, from sâcac, in its primary sense of "prick," figere, which has nothing to do with the meanings to plait and cover, but from which we have the words שׂך, סך, a thorn, nail, or plug, and which is probably related to שׂכה, to view, lit., to fix; hence pilpel, to prick up, incite, which is the rendering adopted by the Targum here and in Isaiah 19:2, and by the lxx at Isaiah 19:2. There is no necessity to quote the talmudic sicsēc, to kindle (by friction), which is never met with in the metaphorical sense of exciting. It would be even better to take our sicsēc as an intensive form of sâcac, used in the same sense as the Arabic, viz., to provide one's self with weapons, to arm; but this is probably a denominative from sicca, signifying offensive armour, with the idea of pricking and spearing - a radical notion, from which it would be easy to get at the satisfactory meaning, to spur on or instigate. "The oppressors of Rezin" tzâr Retzı̄n, a simple play upon the words, like hoi goi in Isaiah 1:4, and many others in Isaiah) are the Assyrians, whose help had been sought by Ahaz against Rezin; though perhaps not these exclusively, but possibly also the Trachonites, for example, against whom the mountain fortress Rezı̄n appears to have been erected, to protect the rich lands of eastern Hauran. In Isaiah 9:12 the range of vision stretches over all Israel. It cannot be otherwise, for the northern kingdom never suffered anything from the Philistines; whereas an invasion of Judah by the Philistines was really one of the judgments belonging to the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:16-19). Consequently by Israel here we are to understand all Israel, the two halves of which would become a rich prize to the enemy. Ephraim would be swallowed up by Aram - namely, by those who had been subjugated by Asshur, and were now tributary to it - and Judah would be swallowed up by the Philistines. But this strait would be very far from being the end of the punishments of God. Because Israel would not turn, the wrath of God would not turn away.

Isaiah 9:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ancient

Isaiah 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor...

Isaiah 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished...

1 Samuel 9:6 And he said to him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man; all that he said comes surely to pass...

the prophet

Isaiah 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies...

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

1 Kings 13:18 He said to him, I am a prophet also as you are; and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying...

1 Kings 22:22-24 And the LORD said to him, With which? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets...

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so...

Jeremiah 14:14,15 Then the LORD said to me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke to them...

Jeremiah 23:9,14,15,25-27 My heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man...

Jeremiah 27:9,10,14,15 Therefore listen not you to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers...

Jeremiah 28:15,16 Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD has not sent you...

Jeremiah 29:21,22 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah...

Ezekiel 13:1-16,19,22 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying...

Hosea 9:8 The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.

Malachi 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as you have not kept my ways...

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible...

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ...

Galatians 1:8,9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed...

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders...

2 Timothy 4:2,3 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine...

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you...

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God...

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him...

Cross References
Matthew 24:24
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

Job 22:8
The man with power possessed the land, and the favored man lived in it.

Isaiah 3:2
the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder,

Isaiah 3:3
the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms.

Isaiah 19:15
And there will be nothing for Egypt that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

Isaiah 23:9
The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth.

Isaiah 28:7
These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment.

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