Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 8

Verses 1-22

In this section we have the account of how the prophet turns from his more public ministry to devote himself to a small circle of believing souls. This departure was signalized by his writing on a tablet the ominous word, Maher-shulal-hash-baz, which means "the spoil speedeth, the prey hasteth."

The prophet then turns to his children, the spiritual children who are faithful witnesses, and his own children. Jehovah declares to him that as the people have refused the gentle method of His persuasion, they are now to be dealt with by the overwhelming method of judgment. In the midst of the uproar Jehovah is to be a sanctuary for those who trust Him, and a rock of offense for the disobedient. The prophet is instructed to bind the testimony and seal the law, and his children are to be for signs and wonders. He then turns to the instruction of this small group of disciples, first describing the false way of seeking familiar spirits and wizards, with disastrous results, and then delivering to them the message of hope.