Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Isaiah 8:1-4 - Homilies By E. Johnson

Symbolic utterances.

THE PROPHET 'S POPULAR METHOD . He wished to inspire hope in the people as well as in the king—to expel the panic fear of the two northern kings, and impress the expectation that the two capitals of these kings would themselves be taken and sacked. The way in which he set about this was simple yet remarkable.

1. He took a large tablet, and wrote therein in "popular characters," i.e. in large text, distinct from the literary character, perhaps a character half pictorial, the words "Hasten-booty, Speed-spoil," or "Booty-quick, Spoil-speed." In those days there were no newspapers, no puffing placards staring from the walls, and books were only for the learned. This was suggestive to write up a sentiment or suggestion like this for the public eye. To this day in the East, if you ask the people their reason for believing this or that, their answer will be, "Is it not written? Men did not write books to deceive us." To write this pregnant phrase was, then, to impress it on the popular imagination. "Go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever" ( Isaiah 30:8 ). "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it" ( Hebrews 2:2 ). Then, to fix the solemn act of putting up the tablet in memory, he takes two witnesses—Uriah the high priest ( 2 Kings 16:10 ), and Zechariah, perhaps "mayor of Jerusalem" at the time.

2. Next, he gave this same mystic name to a son born about the same time, so that the boy might be, as it were, a "living epistle" by means of his significant name, "known and read of all men," and keeping alive in their hearts the hopeful prophecy of his father. Before the boy can lisp his parents' names, that prophecy will be fulfilled, and the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the Assyrian king.

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands