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Isaiah 3:9 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have done evil unto themselves.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The expression of their faces bears witness against them, And they display their sin like Sodom; They do not [even] conceal [it]. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe to their soul! for they have rewarded evil to themselves.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— The look of their face doth witness against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom: they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have brought evil upon themselves.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— The show of their face, hath answered against them, And, their sin—like Sodom, have they told, they have not concealed it. Alas for their souls! For, they, have requited, to, themselves, calamity.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— The appearance of their faces witnessed against them, And their sin, as Sodom, they declared, They have not hidden! Woe to their soul, For they have done to themselves evil.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The shew of their countenance hath answered them: and they have proclaimed abroad their sin as Sodom, and they have not hid it: woe to their souls, for evils are rendered to them.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— The shew of their countenance doeth witnesse against them, and they declare their sinne as Sodom, they hide [it] not: woe vnto their soule, for they haue rewarded euill vnto themselues.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Wherefore now their glory has been brought low, and the shame of their countenance has withstood them, and they have proclaimed their sin as Sodom, and made it manifest.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sedom, they hide [it] not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
The shew 1971
{1971} Prime
From H5234; respect, that is, partiality.
of their countenance 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
doth witness x6030
(6030) Complement
A primitive root; properly to eye or (generally) to heed, that is, pay attention; by implication to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.
against them; y6030
[6030] Standard
A primitive root; properly to eye or (generally) to heed, that is, pay attention; by implication to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
and they declare 5046
{5046} Prime
A primitive root; properly to front, that is, stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically to expose, predict, explain, praise.
<8689> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2675
their sin 2403
{2403} Prime
From H2398; an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender.
as Sm סְדֹם, 5467
{5467} Prime
From an unused root meaning to scorch; burnt (that is, volcanic or bituminous) district; Sedom, a place near the Dead Sea.
they hide 3582
{3582} Prime
A primitive root; to secrete, by act or word; hence (intensively) to destroy.
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
[it] not. x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
Woe 188
{0188} Prime
Probably from H0183 (in the sense of crying out after); lamentation; also interjectionally, Oh!.
unto their soul! 5315
{5315} Prime
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
they have rewarded 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.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
evil 7451
{7451} Prime
From H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun.
unto themselves.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 3:9

_ _ show — The Hebrew means, “that which may be known by their countenances” [Gesenius and Weiss]. But Maurer translates, “Their respect for person”; so Syriac and Chaldee. But the parallel word “declare” favors the other view. Kimchi, from the Arabic, translates “their hardness” (Job 19:3, Margin), or impudence of countenance (Jeremiah 3:3). They have lost not only the substance of virtue, but its color.

_ _ witness — literally, “corresponds” to them; their look answers to their inner character (Hosea 5:5).

_ _ declare — (Jude 1:13). “Foaming out their own shame”; so far from making it a secret, “glorying” in it (Philippians 3:19).

_ _ unto themselves — Compare “in themselves” (Proverbs 1:31; Proverbs 8:36; Jeremiah 2:19; Romans 1:27).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 3:9-15

_ _ Here God proceeds in his controversy with his people. Observe,

_ _ I. The ground of his controversy. It was for sin that God contended with them; if they vex themselves, let them look a little further and they will see that they must thank themselves: Woe unto their souls! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Alas for their souls! (so it may be read, in a way of lamentation), for they have procured evil to themselves, Isaiah 3:9. Note, The condition of sinners is woeful and very deplorable. Note, also, It is the soul that is damaged and endangered by sin. Sinners may prosper in their outward estates, and yet at the same time there may be a woe to their souls. Note, further, Whatever evils befals sinners it is of their own procuring, Jeremiah 2:19. That which is here charged upon then is, 1. That the shame which should have restrained them from their sins was quite thrown off and they had grown impudent, Isaiah 3:9. This hardens men against repentance, and ripens them for ruin, as much as anything: The show of their countenance doth witness against them that their minds are vain, and lewd, and malicious; their eyes declare plainly that they cannot cease from sin, 2 Peter 2:14. One may look them in the face and guess at the desperate wickedness that there is in their hearts: They declare their sin as Sodom, so impetuous, so imperious, are their lusts, and so impatient of the least check, and so perfectly are all the remaining sparks of virtue extinguished in them. The Sodomites declared their sin, not only by the exceeding greatness of it (Genesis 13:13), so that it cried to heaven (Genesis 18:20), but by their shameless owning of that which was most shameful (Genesis 19:5); and thus Judah and Jerusalem did: they were so far from hiding it that they gloried in it, in the bold attempts they made upon virtue, and the victory they gained over their own convictions. They had a whore's forehead (Jeremiah 3:3) and could not blush, Jeremiah 6:15. Note, Those that have grown impudent in sin are ripe for ruin. Those that are past shame (we say) are past grace, and then past hope. 2. That their guides, who should direct them in the right way, put them out of the way (Isaiah 3:12): “Those who lead thee (the princes, priests, and prophets) mislead thee; they cause thee to err.” Either they preached to them that which was false and corrupt, or, if they preached that which was true and good, they contradicted it by their practices, and the people would soon follow a bad example than a good exhortation. Thus they destroyed the ways of their paths, pulling down with one hand what they built up with the other. Que te beatificantThose that call thee blessed cause thee to err; so some read it. Their priests applauded them, as if nothing were amiss among them, cried Peace, peace, to them, as if they were in no danger; and thus they caused them to go on in their errors. 3. That their judges, who should have patronized and protected the oppressed, were themselves the greatest oppressors, Isaiah 3:14, Isaiah 3:15. The elders of the people, and the princes, who had learning and could not but know better things, who had great estates and were not under the temptation of necessity to encroach upon those about them, and who were men of honour and should have scorned to do a base thing, yet they have eaten up the vineyard. God's vineyard, which they were appointed to be the dressers and keepers of, they burnt (so the word signifies); they did as ill by it as its worst enemies could do, Psalms 80:16. Or the vineyards of the poor they wrested out of their possession, as Jezebel did Naboth's, or devoured the fruits of them, fed their lusts with that which should have been the necessary food of indigent families; the spoil of the poor was hoarded up in their houses; when God came to search for stolen goods there he found it, and it was a witness against them. It was to be had, and they might have made restitution, but would not. God reasons with these great men (Isaiah 3:15): “What mean you, that you beat my people into pieces? What cause have you for it? What good does it do you?” Or, “What hurt have they done you? Do you think you had power given you for such a purpose as this?” Note, There is nothing more unaccountable, and yet nothing which must more certainly be accounted for, than the injuries and abuses that are done to God's people by their persecutors and oppressors. “You grind the faces of the poor; you put them to as much pain and terror as if they were ground in a mill, and as certainly reduce them to dust by one act of oppression after another.” Or, “Their faces are bruised and crushed with the blows you have given them; you have not only ruined their estates, but have given them personal abuses.” Our Lord Jesus was smitten on the face, Matthew 26:67.

_ _ II. The management of this controversy. 1. God himself is the prosecutor (Isaiah 3:13): The Lord stands up to plead, or he sets himself to debate the matter, and he stands to judge the people, to judge for those that were oppressed and abused; and he will enter into judgment with the princes, Isaiah 3:14. Note, The greatest of men cannot exempt or secure themselves from the scrutiny and sentence of God's judgment, nor demur to the jurisdiction of the court of heaven. 2. The indictment is proved by the notorious evidence of the fact: “Look upon the oppressors, and the show of their countenance witnesses against them (Isaiah 3:9); look upon the oppressed, and you see how their faces are battered and abused,” Isaiah 3:15. 3. The controversy is already begun in the change of the ministry. To punish those that had abused their power to bad purposes God sets those over them that had not sense to use their power to any good purposes: Children are their oppressors, and women rule over them (Isaiah 3:12), men that have as weak judgments and strong passions as women and children: this was their sin, that their rulers were such, and it became a judgment upon them.

_ _ III. The distinction that shall be made between particular persons, in the prosecution of this controversy (Isaiah 3:10, Isaiah 3:11): Say to the righteous, It shall be well with thee. Woe to the wicked; it shall be ill with him. He had said (Isaiah 3:9), they have rewarded evil to themselves, in proof of which he here shows that God will render to every man according to his works. Had they been righteous, it would have been well with them; but, if it be ill with them, it is because they are wicked and will be so. Thus God stated the matter to Cain, to convince him that he had no reason to be angry, Genesis 4:7. Or it may be taken thus: God is threatening national judgments, which will ruin the public interests. Now, 1. Some good people might fear that they should be involved in that ruin, and therefore God bids the prophets comfort them against those fears: “Whatever becomes of the unrighteous nation, let the righteous man know that he shall not be lost in the crowd of sinners; the Judge of all the earth will not slay the righteous with the wicked (Genesis 18:25); no, assure him, in God's name, that it shall be well with him. The property of the trouble shall be altered to him, and he shall be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger. He shall have divine supports and comforts, which shall abound as afflictions abound, and so it shall be well with him.” When the whole stay of bread is taken away, yet in the day of famine the righteous shall be satisfied; they shall eat the fruit of their doings — they shall have the testimony of their consciences for them that they kept themselves pure from the common iniquity, and therefore the common calamity is not the same thing to them that it is to others; they brought no fuel to the flame, and therefore are not themselves fuel for it. 2. Some wicked people might hope that they should escape that ruin, and therefore God bids the prophets shake their vain hopes: “Woe to the wicked; it shall be ill with him, Isaiah 3:11. To him the judgments shall have sting, and there shall be wormwood and gall in the affliction and misery.” There is a woe to wicked people, and, though they may think to shelter themselves from public judgments, yet it shall be ill with them; it will grow worse and worse with them if they repent not, and the worst of all will be at last; for the reward of their hands shall be given them, in the day when every man shall receive according to the things done in the body.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 3:9

The shew — Their pride, and wantonness, and impiety m manifestly shews itself in their very looks. They declare — They act it publickly, casting off all fear of God and reverence to men. Rewarded — Procured a fit recompense for their wickedness, even utter ruin.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 3:9

The (h) show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe to their soul! for they have rewarded evil to themselves.

(h) When God examines their deed on which they now set an impudent face, he will find the mark of their impiety in their forehead.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
The show:

Isaiah 3:16 Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
1 Samuel 15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
2 Kings 9:30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard [of it]; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
Psalms 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek [after God]: God [is] not in all his thoughts.
Psalms 73:6-7 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them [as] a garment. ... Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
Proverbs 30:13 [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
Jeremiah 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time [that] I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
Daniel 7:20 And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows.

and they declare:

Genesis 13:13 But the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
Genesis 18:20-21 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; ... I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
Genesis 19:5-9 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. ... And they said, Stand back. And they said [again], This one [fellow] came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, [even] Lot, and came near to break the door.
Jeremiah 44:16-17 [As for] the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. ... But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for [then] had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
Ezekiel 23:16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.


Lamentations 5:16 The crown is fallen [from] our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!
Hosea 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me [is] thine help.
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Gn 13:13; 18:20; 19:5. 1S 15:32. 2K 9:30. Ps 10:4; 73:6. Pv 30:13. Is 3:16. Jr 3:3; 6:15; 44:16. Lm 5:16. Ezk 23:16. Dn 7:20. Ho 13:9.

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