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Isaiah 8:12-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

12 “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ every time these people say the word.[a]
Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.
13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[b]
He is the one you must respect;
he is the one you must fear.[c]
14 He will become a sanctuary,[d]
but a stone that makes a person trip,
and a rock that makes one stumble—
to the two houses of Israel.[e]
He will become[f] a trap and a snare
to the residents of Jerusalem.
15 Many will stumble over the stone and the rock,[g]
and will fall and be seriously injured,
and will be ensnared and captured.”


  1. Isaiah 8:12 tn Heb “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ regarding everything about which these people say, ‘Conspiracy.’” The verb translated “do not say” is second masculine plural, indicating that this exhortation is directed to Isaiah and other followers of the Lord (see v. 16).sn The background of this command is uncertain. Perhaps the “conspiracy” in view is the alliance between Israel and Syria. Some of the people may even have thought that individuals in Judah were plotting with Israel and Syria to overthrow the king.
  2. Isaiah 8:13 tn Heb “the Lord of Heaven’s Armies [traditionally, “the Lord of hosts”], him you must set apart.” The word order is emphatic, with the object being placed first.
  3. Isaiah 8:13 tn Heb “he is your [object of] fear; he is your [object of] terror.” The roots יָרֵא (yareʾ) and עָרַץ (ʿarats) are repeated from v. 12b.
  4. Isaiah 8:14 tn Because the metaphor of protection (“sanctuary”) does not fit the negative mood that follows in vv. 14b-15, some contend that מִקְדָּשׁ (miqdash, “sanctuary”) probably needs to be emended to an original מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “snare”), a word that appears in the next line (cf. NAB and H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:355-56). If the MT reading is retained (as in the above translation), the fact that Yahweh is a sanctuary wraps up the point of v. 13 and stands in contrast to God’s treatment of those who rebel against him (the rest of v. 14).
  5. Isaiah 8:14 sn The two “houses” of Israel (= the patriarch Jacob) are the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.
  6. Isaiah 8:14 tn These words are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. וְהָיָה (vehayah, “and he will be”) does double duty in the parallel structure of the verse.
  7. Isaiah 8:15 tn Heb “over them” (so NASB); NCV “over this rock.”
New English Translation (NET)

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