Isaiah Chapter 8

This is a B-Greek reading Group for the LXX Isaiah. This reading group is going through two chapters of the LXX Isaiah per week. Ken Penner, the B-Greek moderator for the "Septuagint and Pseudepigrapha Forum" is writing a commentary on the LXX Isaiah and is sharing his notes with those who wish to read the Isaiah LXX. Dive in, if you dare!
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Ken M. Penner
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Isaiah Chapter 8

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 5th, 2011, 8:52 am

43. Quickly Plunder; Swiftly Capture (8:1-4)
8.1 Καὶ εἶπεν Κύριος πρός με Λαβὲ σεαυτῷ τόμον καινοῦ μεγάλου καὶ γράψον ἐκεῖ γραφίδι ἀνθρώπου Τοῦ ὀξέως προνομὴν ποιῆσαι σκύλων· πάρεστιν γάρ. 2 καὶ μάρτυράς μοι ποίησον πιστοὺς ἀνθρώπους, τὸν Οὐρίαν καὶ τὸν Ζαχαρίαν υἱὸν Βαραχίου. 3 καὶ προσῆλθεν πρὸς τὴν προφῆτιν, καὶ ἐν γαστρὶ ἔλαβεν καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱόν.
καὶ εἶπεν Κύριός μοι Κάλεσον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ταχέως σκύλευσον, ὀξέως προνόμευσον·
4 διότι πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι τὸ παιδίον καλεῖν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα, λήμψεται δύναμιν Δαμασκοῦ καὶ τὰ σκῦλα Σαμαρείας ἔναντι βασιλέως Ἀσσυρίων.

44. The mighty and abundant river (8:5-8)
5 Καὶ προσέθετο Κύριος λαλῆσαί μοι ἔτι 6 Διὰ τὸ μὴ βούλεσθαι τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον τὸ ὕδωρ τοῦ Σειλωὰμ τὸ πορευόμενον ἡσυχῇ, ἀλλὰ βούλεσθαι ἔχειν τὸν Ῥαασσὼν καὶ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Ῥομελίου βασιλέα ἐφ’ ὑμῶν,

7 Διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἀνάγει Κύριος ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς τὸ ὕδωρ τοῦ ποταμοῦ τὸ ἰσχυρὸν καὶ τὸ πολύ, τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἀσσυρίων καὶ τὴν δύναμιν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀναβήσεται ἐπὶ πᾶσαν φάραγγα ὑμῶν
καὶ περιπατήσει ἐπὶ πᾶν τεῖχος ὑμῶν 8 καὶ ἀφελεῖ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἄνθρωπον ὃς δυνήσεται κεφαλὴν ἆραι ἢ δυνατὸν συντελέσασθαί τι, καὶ ἔσται ἡ παρεμβολὴ αὐτοῦ ὥστε πληρῶσαι τὸ πλάτος τῆς χώρας σου·

45. Be overcome (8:8-10)

Μεθ’ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός.

9 Γνῶτε ἔθνη καὶ ἡττᾶσθε, ἐπακούσατε ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς, ἰσχυκότες ἡττᾶσθε· ἐὰν γὰρ πάλιν ἰσχύσητε, πάλιν ἡττηθήσεσθε. 10 καὶ ἣς ἂν βουλεύσησθε βουλήν, διασκεδάσει Κύριος, καὶ λόγον ὃν ἐὰν λαλήσητε, οὐ μὴ ἐμμείνῃ ὑμῖν, ὅτι μεθ’ ἡμῶν κύριος ὁ θεός.

46. Lord will be your help (8:11-15)
11 Οὕτως λέγει Κύριος Τῇ ἰσχυρᾷ χειρὶ ἀπειθοῦσιν τῇ πορείᾳ τῆς ὁδοῦ τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου λέγοντες 12 Μή εἴπητε σκληρόν· πᾶν γάρ, ὃ ἐὰν εἴπῃ ὁ λαὸς οὗτος, σκληρόν ἐστιν· τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτοῦ οὐ μὴ φοβηθῆτε οὐδὲ μὴ ταραχθῆτε· 13 Κύριον αὐτὸν ἁγιάσατε, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται σου βοηθός. 14 καὶ ἐὰν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ πεποιθὼς ᾖς, ἔσται σου εἰς ἁγίασμα, καὶ οὐχ ὡς λίθου προσκόμματι συναντήσεσθε αὐτῷ οὐδὲ ὡς πέτρας πτώματι·

Ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ἰακὼβ ἐν παγίδι, καὶ ἐν κοιλάσματι ἐγκαθήμενοι ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ. 15 διὰ τοῦτο ἀδυνατήσουσιν ἐν αὐτοῖς πολλοὶ.

Καὶ πεσοῦνται καὶ συντριβήσονται, καὶ ἐγγιοῦσιν καὶ ἁλώσονται ἄνθρωποι ἐν ἀσφαλείᾳ.

47. Wait for God (8:16-18)
16 Τότε φανεροὶ ἔσονται οἱ ἐσφραγίσμενοι τὸν νόμον τοῦ μὴ μαθεῖν. 17 καὶ ἐρεῖ Μενῶ τὸν θεὸν τὸν ἀποστρέψαντα τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ οἴκου Ἰακώβ καὶ πεποιθὼς ἔσομαι ἐπ’ αὐτῷ. 18 ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ καὶ τὰ παιδία, ἅ μοι ἔδωκεν ὁ θεός,

Καὶ ἔσται εἰς σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ Ἰσραὴλ παρὰ Κυρίου Σαβαώθ, ὃς κατοικεῖ ἐν τῷ ὄρει Σειών.

48. Diviners are no help (8:19-23)
19 Καὶ ἐὰν εἴπωσιν πρὸς ὑμᾶς Ζητήσατε τοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς φωνοῦντας καὶ τοὺς ἐγγαστριμύθους, τοὺς κενολογοῦντας οἳ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας φωνοῦσιν, οὐκ ἔθνος πρὸς θεὸν αὐτοῦ;

Τί ἐκζητοῦσιν περὶ τῶν ζώντων τοὺς νεκρούς; 20 νόμον γὰρ εἰς βοήθειαν ἔδωκεν, ἵνα εἴπωσιν οὐχ ὡς τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο, περὶ οὗ οὐκ ἔστιν δῶρα δοῦναι περὶ αὐτοῦ. 21 καὶ ἥξει ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς σκληρὰ λιμός, καὶ ἔσται ὡς ἂν πεινάσητε, λυπηθήσεσθε καὶ κακῶς ἐρεῖτε τὸν ἄρχοντα καὶ τὰ πατριά, καὶ ἀναβλέψονται εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἄνω 22 καὶ εἰς τὴν γῆν κάτω ἐμβλέψονται, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀπορία στενὴ θλῖψις καὶ στενοχωρία καὶ σκότος, ὥστε μὴ βλέπειν, 23 καὶ οὐκ ἀπορηθήσεται ὃς ἐν στενοχωρίᾳ ὢν ἕως καιροῦ.
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Ken M. Penner
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Notes on Isaiah 8:1-4

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 5th, 2011, 3:40 pm

43. Quickly Plunder; Swiftly Capture (8:1-4)
8.1 Καὶ εἶπεν Κύριος πρός με Λαβὲ σεαυτῷ τόμον καινοῦ μεγάλου καὶ γράψον ἐκεῖ γραφίδι ἀνθρώπου Τοῦ ὀξέως προνομὴν ποιῆσαι σκύλων· πάρεστιν γάρ. 2 καὶ μάρτυράς μοι ποίησον πιστοὺς ἀνθρώπους, τὸν Οὐρίαν καὶ τὸν Ζαχαρίαν υἱὸν Βαραχίου. 3 καὶ προσῆλθεν πρὸς τὴν προφῆτιν, καὶ ἐν γαστρὶ ἔλαβεν καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱόν.
καὶ εἶπεν Κύριός μοι Κάλεσον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ταχέως σκύλευσον, ὀξέως προνόμευσον·
4 διότι πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι τὸ παιδίον καλεῖν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα, λήμψεται δύναμιν Δαμασκοῦ καὶ τὰ σκῦλα Σαμαρείας ἔναντι βασιλέως Ἀσσυρίων.
1
πρός με] Swete accents this as πρὸς μέ.
Λάβε] with Swete and Ziegler; Rahlfs accents this as Λαβὲ.
καινοῦ μεγάλου] It is unclear what this genitive is modifying. Silva has “a scroll of a new large one” with a note, “Or a leaf from a large new scroll.” Ottley has “a leaf of a new great sheet.”
ἐκεῖ] changed by cb2 to εἰς αὐτὸν, with A, B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler).
γραφίδι ἀνθρώπου] The significance of ἀνθρώπου is unclear. Ottley and Silva both have simply “a man's pen.”
Τοῦ .. ποιῆσαι] The natural interpretation of the infinitive here is purpose.
ὀξέως] adverb of ὀξύς, sharp.
προνομὴν] προνομή refers to foraging, the spoils of war.
σκύλων] σκῦλον also means spoils or booty, goods taken violently.
πάρεστιν] The subject of this verb is not indicated. Ottley and Silva both takes it as a neuter, with “it is at hand” and “it is near,” respectively.
2
μάρτυράς] Swete accents this as μάρτυρὰς
3
προσῆλθεν] third person, with A; B (Swete, Rahlfs, and Ziegler) has the first person προσῆλθον. It is therefore not clear in S who the third person subject might be: Esaias, one of the witnesses, Achaz, and Lord are candidates, with problems associated with all of these. Esaias in this chapter is the first person narrator; none of the three witnesses is singled out; Achaz does not appear in this chapter, and his presence would have to be assumed, based on the connection to the preceding chapter. Lord is the best candidate syntactically (as the last third person subject), but would not be expected to engage in a physical act.
τὴν προφῆτιν] as in Hebrew, there is no indication here who specifically this might be, other than the observation that the prophet’s wife might be called a prophetess.
Several months are telescoped into this one verse.
4
διότι πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι τὸ παιδίον] appeared earlier in 7:16 (πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι αὐτὸν in 7:15). The Hebrew is כי ב‍טרם ידע ה‍נער in both places (ל‍דעת‍ו in 7:15).
λήμψεται] The subject could be the child or Lord, or someone indefinite. The child is preferable because he is the most recent subject, and Lord is speaking. Ottley has “(one) shall take;” Silva has “it will receive.” Both are reasonable interpretations.
σκῦλα] recalls 8:1.
βασιλέως Ἀσσυρίων] recalls 7:20 (and τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἀσσυρίων in 7:17).
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Notes on Isaiah 8:5-8

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 5th, 2011, 4:16 pm

44. The mighty and abundant river (8:5-8)
5 Καὶ προσέθετο Κύριος λαλῆσαί μοι ἔτι 6 Διὰ τὸ μὴ βούλεσθαι τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον τὸ ὕδωρ τοῦ Σειλωὰμ τὸ πορευόμενον ἡσυχῇ, ἀλλὰ βούλεσθαι ἔχειν τὸν Ῥαασσὼν καὶ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Ῥομελίου βασιλέα ἐφ’ ὑμῶν,

7 Διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἀνάγει Κύριος ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς τὸ ὕδωρ τοῦ ποταμοῦ τὸ ἰσχυρὸν καὶ τὸ πολύ, τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἀσσυρίων καὶ τὴν δύναμιν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀναβήσεται ἐπὶ πᾶσαν φάραγγα ὑμῶν
καὶ περιπατήσει ἐπὶ πᾶν τεῖχος ὑμῶν. 8 καὶ ἀφελεῖ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἄνθρωπον ὃς δυνήσεται κεφαλὴν ἆραι ἢ δυνατὸν συντελέσασθαί τι, καὶ ἔσται ἡ παρεμβολὴ αὐτοῦ ὥστε πληρῶσαι τὸ πλάτος τῆς χώρας σου·
6
τοῦ Ῥομελίου] A, B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler) have only Ρομελιου (Swete missed S in his note on this reading).
7
δύναμιν] A, B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler) have δόξαν. This might be rendered “forces,” since it could refer to military power.
ἀνάγει Κύριος] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) has Κύριος ἀνάγει. The present tense is used here for the Hebrew participle, which indicates the impending future.
τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἀσσυρίων] recalls 7:17.
ἀναβήσεται ἐπὶ] Literal translation of עלה על. The context implies water overflowing banks.
8
G differs greatly from the MT. NRSV reads “it will sweep on into Judah as a flood, and, pouring over, it will reach up to the neck; and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”
The point of G is that he will eliminate anyone of power from Ioudaia.
ἄνθρωπον] This clause would read better if it had πάντα ἄνθρωπον.
ἢ] without the πάντα mentioned above or a negative particle, this disjunctive particle is not what would be expected.
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Notes on Isaiah 8:8-10

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 6th, 2011, 7:02 am

45. God is with us (8:8-10)
Μεθ’ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός.

9 Γνῶτε ἔθνη καὶ ἡττᾶσθε, ἐπακούσατε ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς, ἰσχυκότες ἡττᾶσθε· ἐὰν γὰρ πάλιν ἰσχύσητε, πάλιν ἡττηθήσεσθε. 10 καὶ ἣς ἂν βουλεύσησθε βουλήν, διασκεδάσει Κύριος, καὶ λόγον ὃν ἐὰν λαλήσητε, οὐ μὴ ἐμμείνῃ ὑμῖν, ὅτι μεθ’ ἡμῶν κύριος ὁ θεός.
Μεθ’ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός] In 7:14, the Hebrew name was transliterated rather than translated as it is here. S has a red + to the left of the column. I treat it as a title because the paragraph ends similarly.
9
ἡττᾶσθε] middle/passive imperative of ἡσσάομαι. Of the translated books of the OT, ἡσσάομαι appears only in Isaiah, 10 times, always translating the verb חתת, which elsewhere tends to be translated πτοέω. As an imperative (in the context of other imperatives), perhaps it should be rendered “yield.”
ἐσχάτου] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); Β* (Swete) has ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου
ἰσχυκότες] translates an imperative in the MT. In G it could likewise be part of the command, in which case it would be a paradox, or it could be concessive: “although you have become strong, yield!”
10
ἣς] changed by ca, cb3 to ἣν, with A, B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler). The accusative makes more sense than the genitive.
ἐὰν] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); lacking in B (Swete).
λόγον] accusative, making the syntax is awkward, since parallelism indicates this “word” is functioning as the subject of ἐμμείνῃ. The nominative form would be expected here.
ὅτι] it is unclear why μεθ’ ἡμῶν κύριος ὁ θεός should be a reason for the word not standing, unless the point is that any human plan or idea will be overwhelmed by God’s presence (and will).
κύριος ὁ θεός] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) has only ὁ θεός.
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Notes on Isaiah 8:11-15

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 8th, 2011, 11:22 am

46. Lord will be your help (8:11-15)
11 Οὕτως λέγει Κύριος Τῇ ἰσχυρᾷ χειρὶ ἀπειθοῦσιν τῇ πορείᾳ τῆς ὁδοῦ τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου λέγοντες 12 Μή εἴπητε σκληρόν· πᾶν γάρ, ὃ ἐὰν εἴπῃ ὁ λαὸς οὗτος, σκληρόν ἐστιν· τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτοῦ οὐ μὴ φοβηθῆτε οὐδὲ μὴ ταραχθῆτε· 13 Κύριον αὐτὸν ἁγιάσατε, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται σου βοηθός. 14 καὶ ἐὰν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ πεποιθὼς ᾖς, ἔσται σου εἰς ἁγίασμα, καὶ οὐχ ὡς λίθου προσκόμματι συναντήσεσθε αὐτῷ οὐδὲ ὡς πέτρας πτώματι·

Ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ἰακὼβ ἐν παγίδι, καὶ ἐν κοιλάσματι ἐγκαθήμενοι ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ. 15 διὰ τοῦτο ἀδυνατήσουσιν ἐν αὐτοῖς πολλοὶ.

Καὶ πεσοῦνται καὶ συντριβήσονται, καὶ ἐγγιοῦσιν καὶ ἁλώσονται ἄνθρωποι ἐν ἀσφαλείᾳ.
11
Τῇ] The article, unexpected in Greek, is present because the Hebrew has it, in כ‍חזקת היד.
ἰσχυρᾷ] The continued theme of strength connects this paragraph to what precedes.
12
Μή] A and B have ΜΗΠΟΤΕ (Rahlfs and Ziegler as Μήποτε; Swete as Μή ποτε).
εἴπητε] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) has εἴπωσιν. The continued theme of inappropriate speech connects this paragraph to what precedes.
σκληρόν] This could be an exclamation “Hard!” or a statement “[It is] hard.” Silva has “Never say "Hard," for whatever this people says is hard.” Ottley has “Never speak ye stubbornly; for all that this people speaketh is stubborn.” In this context, perhaps like our “hardly” it is an expression of skepticism and improbability. The Hebrew of course is a different word, קשׁר (conspiracy), which was apparently read as קשׁה (hard), confusing resh with he.
ἐὰν] with Ziegler (with no note regarding A); Ottley (with no note) and B (Swete, noting only S with a variant) have ἂν.
τὸν … φόβον] normally, the object of φοβέομαι would the thing feared, not fear itself.
ταραχθῆτε] aorist passive subjunctive of ταράσσω.
13
αὐτὸν] literal translation of the emphatic את‍ו.
βοηθός] All other manuscripts (and Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler) have φόβος. The Hebrew is מורא, which was translated by φόβος in verse 12.
14
πεποιθὼς] appears in this form most often in Isaiah, where it translates 8 different roots. In other books, it almost exclusively translates בטח.
καὶ ἐὰν] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) has κἂν.
σου] σοι
αὐτῷ] lacking in Swete
πέτρας] genitive indicates the source or cause of the fall.
ὁ δὲ οἶκος] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) has the plural οἱ δὲ οἶκοι.
παγίδι] dative of παγίς, snare.
κοιλάσματι] κοίλασμα, an indentation, cavity or hollow.
ἐγκαθήμενοι] from ἐν-κάθημαι.
The point of this paragraph is: do not fear what this people fears. Put yourself on Lord’s side, and he will then be a help rather than an obstacle for you.
15
πεσοῦνται] the third-person plural subject is most likely the powerless who sit in Jerusalem.
συντριβήσονται] future passive of συντρίβω, which means to destroy by breaking apart.
ἀσφαλείᾳ] with B (Swete), changed by cb2 to ἀσφαλείᾳ ὄντες, with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler), but reverted by cb3. The addition of ὄντες resolves an ambiguity regarding what ἀσφαλείᾳ modifies: the action (happening “with confidence”) or the people (“secure”). The text of A and S’s cb2 (Rahlfs and Ziegler) make it explicit that it is the people who are secure.
Secondary Literature
Arie van der Kooij (A. Van der Kooij 1997; Arie van der Kooij 1997; Van Der Kooij 1989; Arie van der Kooij 1998, 14) and J. Ross Wagner (Wagner 2007) have written on OG Isaiah 8:11-16.
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Notes on Isaiah 8:16-18

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 8th, 2011, 11:28 am

47. Wait for God (8:16-18)
16 Τότε φανεροὶ ἔσονται οἱ ἐσφραγίσμενοι τὸν νόμον τοῦ μὴ μαθεῖν. 17 καὶ ἐρεῖ Μενῶ τὸν θεὸν τὸν ἀποστρέψαντα τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ οἴκου Ἰακώβ καὶ πεποιθὼς ἔσομαι ἐπ’ αὐτῷ. 18 ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ καὶ τὰ παιδία, ἅ μοι ἔδωκεν ὁ θεός,

Καὶ ἔσται εἰς σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ Ἰσραὴλ παρὰ Κυρίου Σαβαώθ, ὃς κατοικεῖ ἐν τῷ ὄρει Σειών.
16
φανεροὶ] carries the meaning of “readily known,” but it is unclear whether this means they are exposed for who they are, or simply famous. Ottley, van der Kooij, and Silva translate it as “manifest.”
ἐσφραγίσμενοι] σφραγιζόμενοι. Arie van der Kooij understands these people who seal the law to be the speakers of 8:12-14, the opponents of the “hard” torah-obedience of “this people.” Wagner, on the other hand, argued that the speakers in 8:12-14 are the faithful, and those who seal up the law are those who seek help from mediums and do not trust in the Lord (263).
τὸν νόμον] could be the object of ἐσφραγίσμενοι or μαθεῖν. Syntactically the former is preferable; semantically, the latter. The intention is probably both: seal up the law so that one cannot learn it.
ἐρεῖ] The most recent singular subject for this verb is the house of Iakob in 8:14. The Hebrew has no counterpart to these words.
πεποιθὼς] recalls 8:13.
18
ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ καὶ τὰ παιδία, ἅ μοι ἔδωκεν ὁ θεός] literal translation of הנה אנכי והילדים אשׁר נתן לי יהוה, except that μοι has been moved before the verb rather than after, and the tetragrammaton is rendered by ὁ θεός rather than κύριος.
εἰς] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); lacking in B (Swete).
οἴκῳ] with B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler); absent in A (Ottley). Note Rahlfs and Ziegler do not follow A here.
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Notes on Isaiah 8:19-23

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 8th, 2011, 1:19 pm

48. Diviners are no help (8:19-23)
19 Καὶ ἐὰν εἴπωσιν πρὸς ὑμᾶς Ζητήσατε τοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς φωνοῦντας καὶ τοὺς ἐγγαστριμύθους, τοὺς κενολογοῦντας οἳ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας φωνοῦσιν, οὐκ ἔθνος πρὸς θεὸν αὐτοῦ;

Τί ἐκζητοῦσιν περὶ τῶν ζώντων τοὺς νεκρούς; 20 νόμον γὰρ εἰς βοήθειαν ἔδωκεν, ἵνα εἴπωσιν οὐχ ὡς τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο, περὶ οὗ οὐκ ἔστιν δῶρα δοῦναι περὶ αὐτοῦ. 21 καὶ ἥξει ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς σκληρὰ λιμός, καὶ ἔσται ὡς ἂν πεινάσητε, λυπηθήσεσθε καὶ κακῶς ἐρεῖτε τὸν ἄρχοντα καὶ τὰ πατριά, καὶ ἀναβλέψονται εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἄνω 22 καὶ εἰς τὴν γῆν κάτω ἐμβλέψονται, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀπορία στενὴ θλῖψις καὶ στενοχωρία καὶ σκότος, ὥστε μὴ βλέπειν, 23 καὶ οὐκ ἀπορηθήσεται ὃς ἐν στενοχωρίᾳ ὢν ἕως καιροῦ.
19
εἴπωσιν] the subject is presumably those who have sealed the law in 8:16.
ὑμᾶς] the addressees presumably are resumed from 8:12, where the second person pronouns were plural (in 8:13-14 they were singular).
τοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς φωνοῦντας καὶ τοὺς ἐγγαστριμύθους] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) has τοὺς ἐνγαστριμύθους καὶ τοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς φωνοῦντας. These are mediums (compare ἐγγαστρίμαντις: “one that prophesies from the belly.”) The Hebrew has the somewhat less explicit “the ghosts and the spirits, those who chirp and those who mutter.”
κοιλίας] Note the connection with κοιλάσματι in 8:14.
οὐκ ἔθνος πρὸς θεὸν αὐτοῦ] with A (Rahlfs, Ziegler); B (Swete) adds ἐκζητήσουσιν. The speaker of this question is unclear. The one asking the question could be the mediums say (as Ottley), or the speakers of verse 19 (the subject of εἴπωσιν), or Esaias (as Silva). It is unclear how this question is supposed to support the any of these speakers’ points. One possibility is that they are suggesting contacting the local practitioners rather than those that are far away in Zion. Ottley reads, “Seek ye them that speak from the earth, and the ventriloquists, the babblers that talk from the belly: is it not a nation with its God?” However, the next question more clearly supports Esaias’ point that diviners should not be consulted, so I interpret this preceding rhetorical question the same way: that the nation of Ioudaia has its God, namely Lord, and he is the one to be consulted. Hence the questioner here would be Esaias. Silva has “And if people say to you, ‘Seek those who utter sounds from the earth and the ventriloquists, the babblers who utter sounds out of their bellies,’ should not a nation be with its God? Why do they seek out the dead concerning the living?”
ἐκζητοῦσιν] with B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler); A (Ottley) has ἐκζητῶσιν.
20
ὡς τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο] meaning so that they would not say “such things.”
περὶ οὗ οὐκ ἔστιν δῶρα δοῦναι περὶ αὐτοῦ] The syntax is awkward but sensible, with a resumptive pronoun in a relative clause. What is difficult about this phrase is the meaning. On the surface, the clause says there are no gifts to give about this word, but what “gifts” might be given about a word is unclear. Ottley has “For he hath given them a law for their help: that they may speak not as this word, concerning which there is no giving of gifts.” Silva has “For he has given a law as a help so that they may not speak a word such as this one, concerning which there are no gifts to give.” Unlike the diviners, Lord requires no gifts to buy his help.
21
σκληρὰ] recalls 8:12.
κακῶς ἐρεῖτε] presumably the same kind of speech as τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο of 5:20.
τὸν ἄρχοντα] since the ruler is in parallel with the ancestral customs, he is presented with approval here.
πατριά] with A, B (Swete); Rahlfs, Ziegler have παταχρα, following 93 (and noting the same word in Isa 37:38).
ἀναβλέψονται] Note the shift to the third person. The subject is not immediately obvious. The ἄρχοντα is not a good candidate because he is singular. In conjunction with the following verse, it seems that looking up is presented as a bad thing to do, presumably because it is seeking answers from diviners. So the plural subjects from 8:19 are probably indicated: those who have sealed, and who recommend diviners.
22
ἐμβλέψονται] again, the meaning is that they look for answers in the wrong places. What they will see there is not what they are seeking.
ἀπορία στενὴ θλῖψις καὶ στενοχωρία καὶ σκότος] Other witnesses rearrange the order. B (Swete) has ἀπορία στενὴ καὶ σκότος, θλίψις καὶ στενοχωρία καὶ σκότος; A (Rahlfs, Ziegler) has θλῖψις καὶ στενοχωρία καὶ σκότος, ἀπορία στενὴ καὶ σκότος.
23
The syntax of the verse is awkward; its interpretation even less clear. Ottley has “And he that is in straitness shall not be dismayed until a season.” Similarly, Silva has “and the one who is in distress will not be perplexed for a time.” The Hebrew כי לא מועף לאשׁר מוצק לה כעת is difficult, literally “Indeed no gloom for whom anxiety for her. As a time …” Ottley shows that G was translating phrase by phrase: כי לא מועף= Indeed not being gloomy=καὶ οὐκ ἀπορηθήσεται; לאשׁר מוצק לה=which has anxiety =ὃ ἐν στενοχωρίᾳ; כעת=as a time=ὡς καιροῦ.
ἀπορηθήσεται] future passive of ἀπορέω, which normally means to be at a loss, whether for goods or ideas. In the previous verse (8:22), G rendered a noun מעוף from this same root as ἀπορία, so here because he understood the form as a participle, he translated it with a future form of the cognate verb ἀπορέω. To preserve the play on words, I have translated “in difficulty.” The meaning then is that difficulty they see in 8:22 will not begin immediately.
ὃς ἐν] corrected by ca to ὁ ἐν τῇ; A, B (Swete, Rahlfs, Ziegler) have ὁ ἐν.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Ken M. Penner
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Isaiah Chapter 8 translation

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 8th, 2011, 1:20 pm

43. Quickly Plunder; Swiftly Capture (8:1-4)
8.1 And Lord said to me, Take for yourself a scroll of a new large one and write there with a stylus of a person, to do plunder of spoils swiftly, for it is present. 2 And make faithful people witnesses for me: Ourias and Zacharias son of Barachias. 3 And he came to the prophetess and she conceived in womb and she bore a son.
And Lord said to me, Call his name Quickly Plunder; Swiftly Capture. 4 Because before the child knows how to call father or mother, he will take the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samareia in the presence of the king of Assyrians.

44. The mighty and abundant river (8:5-8)
5 And Lord continued to speak to me further: 6 Because this people does not want the water of Siloam that goes quietly, but wants to have Rhaasson and the son of Rhomelias king over you,

7 Because of this, look, Lord is bringing upon you the water of the mighty and abundant river: the king of the Assyrians and his power, and he will rise up over every ravine of yours, and will walk about over every city wall of yours. 8 And he will remove from Ioudaia a person who will be able to lift a head or able to accomplish something; and his encampment will be such as to fill the breadth of your region.

45. God is with us (8:8-10)
God is with us.
9 Know, nations, and be overcome; listen as far as the farthest part of the land. Having become powerful, be overcome, for if you are powerful again, again you will be overcome. 10 And of whichever counsel you take, Lord will disperse. And whichever word you speak, will not stand for you, because Lord God is with us.

46. Lord will be your help (8:11-15)
11 Thus says Lord, By the strong hand they refuse the way of the path of this people, saying, 12 May you not say, 'hard,' for everything that this people says is hard; but do not be frightened with its fear, neither be troubled. 13 Sanctify Lord himself, and he will be your help. 14 And if you are trusting on him, he will become your sanctuary and you will encounter him not as an obstacle of stone, nor like a fall from a rock.

But the house of Iakob is in a snare, and those who sit in Jerusalem are in a pit. 15 Because of this, many among them will be powerless.

And they will fall and be shattered, and people in security will approach and be taken.

47. Wait for God (8:16-18)
16 Then those who have sealed the law in order to not learn will be evident. 17 And he will say, I will wait for God who turned his face from the house of Iakob and I will be confident in him. 18 Look, here am I along with the children whom God has given me.

And they will become signs and wonders in the house of Israel from Lord Sabaoth, who dwells on Mount Zion.

48. Diviners are no help (8:19-23)
19 And if they say to you, Seek those who speak from the earth and the ventriloquists, the empty talkers, who speak from the abdomen; is not a nation with its god?

Why do they ask the dead about the living? 20 For he gave a law for a help, so that they might not speak like this word, about which there are not gifts to give about it. 21 And a severe famine will come upon you, and it will be that as you hunger, you will be grieved, and you will speak badly regarding the ruler and the ancestral customs, and they will look up into the sky above. 22 And they will look to the ground below and look, tight difficulty, oppression and distress and darkness so that one cannot see. 23 And he who is being in distress will not be in difficulty until the right time.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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