New English Translation
God’s Judgment Intensifies
8 [a] The Lord[b] decreed judgment[c] on Jacob,
and it fell on Israel.[d]
9 All the people were aware[e] of it,
the people of Ephraim and those living in Samaria.[f]
Yet with pride and an arrogant attitude, they said,[g]
10 “The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with chiseled stone;
the sycamore fig trees have been cut down,
but we will replace them with cedars.”[h]
- Isaiah 9:8 sn The following speech (9:8-10:4) assumes that God has already sent judgment (see v. 9), but it also announces that further judgment is around the corner (10:1-4). The speech seems to describe a series of past judgments on the northern kingdom which is ready to intensify further in the devastation announced in 10:1-4. It may have been written prior to the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom in 734-733 b.c., or sometime between that invasion and the downfall of Samaria in 722 b.c. The structure of the speech displays four panels, each of which ends with the refrain, “Through all this, his anger did not subside; his hand remained outstretched” (9:12b; 17b; 21b; 10:4b): Panel I: (A) Description of past judgment (9:8); (B) Description of the people’s attitude toward past judgment (9:9-10); (C) Description of past judgment (9:11-12a); (D) Refrain (9:12b); Panel II: (A) Description of the people’s attitude toward past judgment (9:13); (B) Description of past judgment (9:14-17a); (C) Refrain (9:17b); Panel III: (A) Description of past judgment (9:18-21a); (B) Refrain (9:21b); Panel IV: (A) Woe oracle announcing future judgment (10:1-4a); (B) Refrain (10:4b).
- Isaiah 9:8 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here and in v. 17 is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
- Isaiah 9:8 tn Heb “sent a word” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NASB “sends a message.”
- Isaiah 9:8 tn The present translation assumes that this verse refers to judgment that had already fallen. Both verbs (perfects) are taken as indicating simple past; the vav (ו) on the second verb is understood as a simple vav conjunctive. Another option is to understand the verse as describing a future judgment (see 10:1-4). In this case the first verb is a perfect of certitude; the vav on the second verb is a vav consecutive.
- Isaiah 9:9 tn The translation assumes that vv. 9-10 describe the people’s response to a past judgment (v. 8). The perfect is understood as indicating simple past and the vav (ו) is taken as conjunctive. Another option is to take the vav on the perfect as consecutive and translate, “all the people will know.”
- Isaiah 9:9 tn Heb “and the people, all of them, knew; Ephraim and the residents of Samaria.”
- Isaiah 9:9 tn Heb “with pride and arrogance of heart, saying.”
- Isaiah 9:10 sn Though judgment (see v. 8) had taken away the prosperity they did have (symbolized by the bricks and sycamore fig trees), they arrogantly expected the future to bring even greater prosperity (symbolized by the chiseled stone and cedars).