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Isaiah 28:9 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Whom will he teach knowledge? and whom will he make to understand the message? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “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?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— 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 Them that are weaned from the milk, withdrawn from the breasts?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Whom, would he teach knowledge? And, whom, would he cause to understand the message? Them who are, weaned from the milk? taken from the breasts?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— By whom doth He teach knowledge? And by whom doth He cause to understand the report? The weaned from milk, the removed from breasts,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand the hearing? them that are weaned from the milk, that are drawn away from the breasts.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Whome shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to vnderstand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milke, [and] drawen from the breasts.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— To whom have we reported evils? and to whom have we reported a message? [even to those] that are weaned from the milk, who are drawn from the breast.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
Whom x4310
(4310) Complement
An interrogitive pronoun of persons, as H4100 is of things, who? (occasionally, by a peculiar idiom, of things); also (indefinitely) whoever; often used in oblique construction with prefix or suffix.
shall he teach 3384
{3384} Prime
A primitive root; properly to flow as water (that is, to rain); transitively to lay or throw (especially an arrow, that is, to shoot); figuratively to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach.
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
knowledge? 1844
{1844} Prime
Feminine of H1843; knowledge.
and whom x4310
(4310) Complement
An interrogitive pronoun of persons, as H4100 is of things, who? (occasionally, by a peculiar idiom, of things); also (indefinitely) whoever; often used in oblique construction with prefix or suffix.
shall he make to understand 995
{0995} Prime
A primitive root; to separate mentally (or distinguish), that is, (generally) understand.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
doctrine? 8052
{8052} Prime
Feminine passive participle of H8074; something heard, that is, an announcement.
[them that are] weaned 1580
{1580} Prime
A primitive root; to treat a person (well or ill), that is, benefit or requite; by implication (of toil) to ripen, that is, (specifically) to wean.
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
from the milk, 2461
{2461} Prime
From the same as H2459; milk (as the richness of kine).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
[and] drawn 6267
{6267} Prime
From H6275; removed, that is, weaned; also antique.
from the breasts. 7699
{7699} Prime
Probably from H7736 (in its original sense) contracted; the breast of a woman or animal (as bulging).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Isaiah 28:5-13.

Isaiah 28:9-10

_ _ Here the drunkards are introduced as scoffingly commenting on Isaiah’s warnings: “Whom will he (does Isaiah presume to) teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understand instruction? Is it those (that is, does he take us to be) just weaned, etc.? For (he is constantly repeating, as if to little children) precept upon precept,” etc.

_ _ line — a rule or law. [Maurer]. The repetition of sounds in Hebrew, tzav latzav, tzav latzav, qav laqav, qav laquav, expresses the scorn of the imitators of Isaiah’s speaking; he spoke stammering (Isaiah 28:11). God’s mode of teaching offends by its simplicity the pride of sinners (2 Kings 5:11, 2 Kings 5:12; 1 Corinthians 1:23). Stammerers as they were by drunkenness, and children in knowledge of God, they needed to be spoken to in the language of children, and “with stammering lips” (compare Matthew 13:13). A just and merciful retribution.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 28:9-13

_ _ 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, Isaiah 28:9. This is God's way of dealing with men, to enlighten men's 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 (Isaiah 28:9), 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 (Isaiah 28:10): 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, Deuteronomy 6:6, Deuteronomy 6:7. 2. They courted and persuaded them to learn, Isaiah 28:12. 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.” Note, God by his word calls us to nothing but what is really for our advantage; for the service of God is the only true rest for those that are weary of the service of sin and there is no refreshing but under the easy yoke of the Lord Jesus.

_ _ III. What little effect all this had upon the people. They were as unapt to learn as young children newly weaned from the milk, and it was as impossible to fasten any thing upon them (Isaiah 28:9): nay, one would choose rather to teach a child of two years old than undertake to teach them; for they have not only (like such a child) no capacity to receive what is taught them, but they are prejudiced against it. As children, they have need of milk, and cannot bear strong meat, Hebrews 5:12. 1. They would not hear (Isaiah 28:12), no, not that which would be rest and refreshing to them. They had no mind to hear it. The word of God commanded their serious attention, but could not gain it; they were where it was preached, but they turned a deaf ear to it, or as it came in at one ear it went out at the other. 2. They would not heed. It was unto them precept upon precept, and line upon line (Isaiah 28:13); they went on in a road of external performances; they kept up the old custom of attending upon the prophet's preaching and it was continually sounding in their ears, but that was all; it made no impression upon them; they had the letter of the precept, but no experience of the power and spirit of it; it was continually beating upon them, but it beat nothing into them. Nay, 3. It should seem, they ridiculed the prophet's preaching, and bantered it. The word of the Lord was unto them Tsau latsau, kau lakau; in the original it is in rhyme; they made a song of the prophet's words, and sang it when they were merry over their wine. David was the song of the drunkards. It is great impiety, and a high affront to God, thus to make a jest of sacred things, to speak of that vainly which should make us serious.

_ _ IV. How severely God would reckon with them for this. 1. He would deprive them of the privilege of plain preaching, and speak to them with stammering lips and another tongue, Isaiah 28:11. Those that will not understand what is plain and level to their capacity, but despise it as mean and trifling, are justly amused with that which is above them. Or God will send foreign armies among them, whose language they understand not, to lay their country waste. Those that will not hear the comfortable voice of God's word shall be made to hear the dreadful voice of his rod. Or these words may be taken as denoting God's gracious condescension to their capacity in his dealing with them; he lisped to them in their own language, as nurses do to their children, with stammering lips, to humor them; he changed his voice, tried first one way and then another; the apostle quotes it as a favour (1 Corinthians 14:21), applying it to the gift of tongues, and complaining that yet for all this they would not hear. 2. He would bring utter ruin upon them. By their profane contempt of God and his word they are but hastening on their own ruin, and ripening themselves for it; it is that they may go and fall backward, may grow worse and worse, may depart further and further from God, and proceed from one sin to another, till they be quite broken, and snared, and taken, and ruined, Isaiah 28:13. They have here a little and there a little of the word of God; they think it too much, and say to the seers, See not; but it proves too little to convert them, and will prove enough to condemn them. If it be not a savour of life unto life, it will be a savour of death unto death.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 28:9

He — God. Them — Who is there among this people that are willing to be taught the knowledge of God? A minister may as soon teach an infant as these men.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 28:9

(h) 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.

(h) For there was no one that was able to understand any good doctrine: but were foolish and as unfit as young babes.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
shall he teach:

Isaiah 30:10-12 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: ... Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
Psalms 50:17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear [is] uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
John 12:47-48 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. ... He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Heb. the hearing,
Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?


Psalms 131:2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul [is] even as a weaned child.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Matthew 21:15-16 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, ... And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
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Ps 50:17; 131:2. Pv 1:29. Is 30:10; 53:1. Jr 5:31; 6:10. Mt 11:25; 21:15. Mk 10:15. Jn 3:19; 12:38, 47. 1P 2:2.

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