ISAIAH CHAPTER 28
[Isaiah 28:9-10 KJV]:
(v. 9) "Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
(v. 10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
[Isaiah 28:9-10 NIV]:
(v. 9) "Who is it He [God] is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?
(v. 10) For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there."
[Isaiah 28:9-10 YLT]:
(v. 9) "By whom doth He teach knowledge? And by whom doth He cause to understand the report? The weaned from milk, the removed from breasts,
(v. 10) For rule [is] on rule, rule on rule, line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there"
[Isaiah 28:9-10 Darby]:
(v. 9) "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand the report? Them that are weaned from the milk, withdrawn from the breasts?
(v. 10) For [it is] precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little."
[Isaiah 28:9-10 NASB]:
(v. 9) ""To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?
(v. 10) ""For He says, "Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.'''
(v. 9) "Whom shall He [God] teach knowledge?[from Scripture] and whom shall He make to understand doctrine [Bible doctrine] them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
(v. 10) "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little."
"precept" = command (Str # 6680), [command from the prophet of God, i.e., from God's Word = doctrinal teaching, a precept.]
"precept upon precept" = understanding Scripture involves the study of commands, i.e., precepts which relate to one another. All the doctrinal teachings of Scripture perfectly relate, support and enhance one another and are to be studied categorically, i.e., by category as well as in the order that it was written.
"line" = "qaw", rule, line (Str # 6757)
"line upon line" = instruction is to be line upon line, i.e., in the order that the text was written
"a little" = little, small, adj, Str. #2192
"here a little, there a little" = in view of who is being addressed, i.e, those who are addressed "them that are weaned from breasts" then a little from here and a little from there is all that they can handle in the way of doctrinal instruction.
Matthew Henry Commentary on Isaiah 28]:
Matthew Henry Commentary on Isaiah 28
"In this chapter,
I. The Ephraimites are reproved and threatened for their pride and drunkenness, their security and sensuality (v. 1-8). But, in the midst of this, here is a gracious promise of Gods favour to the remnant of his people (v. 5, 6).
II. They are likewise reproved and threatened for their dulness and stupidity, and unaptness to profit by the instructions which the prophets gave them in Gods name (v. 913).
The prophet here complains of the wretched stupidity of this people, that they were unteachable and made no improvement of the means of grace which they possessed; they still continued as they were, their mistakes not rectified, their hearts not renewed, nor their lives reformed. Observe,
I. What it was that their prophets and ministers designed and aimed at. It was to teach them knowledge, the knowledge of God and his will, and to make them understand doctrine, v. 9. This is Gods way of dealing with men, to enlighten mens minds first with the knowledge of his truth, and thus to gain their affections, and bring their wills into a compliance with his laws; thus he enters in by the door, whereas the thief and the robber climb up another way.
II. What method they took, in pursuance of this design. They left no means untried to do them good, but taught them as children are taught, little children that are beginning to learn, that are taken from the breast to the book (v. 9), for among the Jews it was common for mothers to nurse their children till they were three years old, and almost ready to go to school. And it is good to begin betimes with children, to teach them, as they are capable, the good knowledge of the Lord, and to instruct them even when they are but newly weaned from the milk. The prophets taught them as children are taught; for,
1. They were constant and industrious in teaching them. They took great pains with them, and with great prudence, teaching them as they needed it and were able to bear it (v. 10): Precept upon precept. It must be so, or (as some read) it has been so. They have been taught, as children are taught to read, by precept upon precept, and taught to write by line upon line, a little here and a little there, a little of one thing and a little of another, that the variety of instructions might be pleasing and inviting,a little at one time and a little at another, that they might not have their memories overcharged,a little from one prophet and a little from another, that every one might be pleased with his friend and him whom he admired. Note, For our instruction in the things of God it is requisite that we have precept upon precept and line upon line, that one precept and line should be followed, and so enforced by another; the precept of justice must be upon the precept of piety, and the precept of charity upon that of justice. Nay, it is necessary that the same precept and the same line should be often repeated and inculcated upon us, that we may the better understand them and the more easily recollect them when we have occasion for them. Teachers should accommodate themselves to the capacity of the learners, give them what they most need and can best bear, and a little at a time, Deu. 6:6, 7. 2. They courted and persuaded them to learn, v. 12. God, by his prophets, said to them, "This way that we are directing you to, and directing you in, is the rest, the only rest, wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this will be the refreshing of your own souls, and will bring rest to your country from the wars and other calamities with which it has been long harassed.
(Isa 28:16 NKJV) "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: " Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily."
Isa 28:17 NIV I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
Isa 28:18 NIV Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.
Isa 28:19 NIV As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through." The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.
[Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., Grank E Gaebelien, Gen. Ed., 1976, p. 180-181]:
"Even a superficial esamination of these verses reveals the considerable extent to which - in word and idea - they take up so much of what the prophet [Isaiah] has said already in this chapter. The conjunction lAkEn ('so' or 'therefore') v. 16 opens with indicates this logical connection with what God has already said in this oracle. The further connection, already noted in the comment at v. 13, between this prophecy and chapter 8 is also very instructive. In the earlier passage (8:14), the LORD Himself had declared that he would be both a sanctuary - and Judah's sanctuary at Jerusalem was made of stone - and a stumbling stone for the people of Israel. Faith would make the difference. Here the stone illustration - having already been developed, by implicatioin, in a negative way in v. 13 - is presented in an eminently positive fashion...
In 8:14, in an oracle from the time of Ahaz, the prophet had used the stone analogy in a most significant way. The LORD Himself was calling men to faith. If they responded in faith, He would be a sanctuary, a holy place, to them. As the altar of God in the temple was treated as a place of refuge (Exod 21:14; 1 Kings 1:50), so God Himself would be a holy place of refuge for them (cf. Exek 11:16). If, however, they refused belief, He would be a stone of stumbling they would fall over. The altar of stone was, of course, set within a temple of stone, so that both the promise and the threat there rest on the spiritualizing of the stone.
The context here [in Isa 28] is very similar. The leadership of Judah was again refused the way of faith and sought alliance with Egypt. The prophet returned to his previous image but developed it differently. The stone-built temple is once again a picture of the God they are to trust in. Instead of reapplying the stone illustration in a threat (but see v. 13b), Isaiah declared God's condemnation of the poor Egyptian makeshift the rebellious and unbelieving people had constructed as a substitute for faith in their God. The passage therefore harmonizes perfectly both with its literary and with its historical contexts. The stone is defined, as we shall see, in terms of the analogy itself; but the reality of which it is the image is unspecified. A comparison of the language of 8:14 and the present passage shows us that there the sanctuary and stone were God Himself whereas here the stone is laid by God. If this passage is a development of the former, then we are bound to ask, 'Who, in Isaiah's prophecies, is both God and distinct from Him?' The clear answer is 'the Messiah,' as 9:6 (cf. 7:14) shows. The soundness of this approach is confirmed when we note that thematic development is a leading feature of Messianism in this book...
If then the stone is the Messiah, what messianic qualities or functions emerge from the prophet's words?... Zion was itself, of course, the place of the temple and also the place where the leaders of the people lived. The stone is probably defined in a twofold way. First of all, it is a tested or testing stone. If the adjective is taken in an active sense, then it will simply indicate that the foundation stone has been tested for strength and shape. If passive, however, it may well refer to a topstone, shaped by the master mason for placing at the end of the whole building process, so forming a test of trueness of line for the whole edifice... If the prophecy is truly messianic, then it is eschatological; and if eschatological, then the idea of a capstone is most apt. We will take it, therefore, in this sense, though this cannot be established beyond a shadow of doubt.
The testing stone is also 'a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation.' This clearly points to the stone that is placed on the living rock and that is of special importance also because it is at the junction of two walls. He is 'precious' because of His superlative value in the divine plan. The ultimate spiritual sanctuary will find its foundation in Him... If we are right in seeing both topstone and foundation stone here, we have evidence of the freedom of the prophet - and behind him of the inspiring Spirit - in the use of analogies. In architecture the same stone cannot fulfill both purposes; but God gives one great answer to the totality of human need, and that answer is Christ...
The verb translated 'dismayed' (hîs) literally means 'to hasten' but it can be applied figuratively to emotions... On the other hand, a literal rendering makes good sense because... it can suggest a contrast with waiting on God..."
Re: v. 16 verb tense:
[Expositor's, op. cit., p. 184]:
"The MT has the Piel perfect (yissad, 'he has founded'), while 1QIsab and the LXX read the Qal active participle (yôsEd 'founding' or 'about to found'). The real problem perhaps lies in the preceding first person pronoun... [so if it is the active participle] this is a simple case of ellipsis, [an expression that leaves out certain understood words - usually to be emphatic] so that we should follow the MT and read, 'Behold! I am he who founds' "