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Isaiah 38:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— behold, I will cause the shadow on the steps, which is gone down on the dial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the dial whereon it was gone down.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps.” So the sun’s [shadow] went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which hath gone down on the sun-dial of Ahaz ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it had gone down.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees which hath gone down with the sun on the dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned on the dial ten degrees, by which it had gone down.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Behold me! causing the shadow on the steps, which hath come gone down on the steps of Ahaz with the sun, to return, backwards, ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps, by the steps which it had come down.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Lo, I am bringing back the shadow of the degrees that it hath gone down on the degrees of Ahaz, by the sun, backward ten degrees:' and the sun turneth back ten degrees in the degrees that it had gone down.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Behold I will bring again the shadow of the lines, by which it is now gone down in the sun dial of Achaz with the sun, ten lines backward. And the sun returned ten lines by the degrees by which it was gone down.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Behold, I will bring againe the shadow of the degrees which is gone downe in the Sunne-diall of Ahaz ten degrees backward: so the Sunne returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone downe.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— behold, I will turn back the shadow of the degrees [of the dial] by which ten degrees on the house of thy father the sun has gone down-- I will turn back the sun the ten degrees; so the sun went back the ten degrees by which the shadow had gone down.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Achaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
I will bring again 7725
{7725} Prime
שׁוּב
shuwb
{shoob}
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
z8688
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
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).
the shadow 6738
{6738} Prime
צֵל
tsel
{tsale}
From H6751; shade, whether literally or figuratively.
of the degrees, 4609
{4609} Prime
מַעֲלָה
ma`alah
{mah-al-aw'}
Feminine of H4608; elevation, that is, the act (literally a journey to a higher place, figuratively a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally a step or grade mark, figuratively a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms).
which x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
is gone down 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
in the sun 8121
{8121} Prime
שֶׁמֶשׁ
shemesh
{sheh'-mesh}
From an unused root meaning to be brilliant; the sun; by implication the east; figuratively a ray, that is, (architecturally) a notched battlement.
dial 4609
{4609} Prime
מַעֲלָה
ma`alah
{mah-al-aw'}
Feminine of H4608; elevation, that is, the act (literally a journey to a higher place, figuratively a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally a step or grade mark, figuratively a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms).
of z אָחָז, 271
{0271} Prime
אָחָז
'Achaz
{aw-khawz'}
From H0270; possessor; Achaz, the name of a Jewish king and of an Israelite.
ten 6235
{6235} Prime
עֶשֶׂר
`eser
{eh'-ser}
From H6237; ten (as an accumulation to the extent of the digits).
degrees 4609
{4609} Prime
מַעֲלָה
ma`alah
{mah-al-aw'}
Feminine of H4608; elevation, that is, the act (literally a journey to a higher place, figuratively a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally a step or grade mark, figuratively a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms).
backward. 322
{0322} Prime
אֲחֹרַנִּית
'achoranniyth
{akh-o-ran-neeth'}
Prolonged from H0268; backwards.
So the sun 8121
{8121} Prime
שֶׁמֶשׁ
shemesh
{sheh'-mesh}
From an unused root meaning to be brilliant; the sun; by implication the east; figuratively a ray, that is, (architecturally) a notched battlement.
returned 7725
{7725} Prime
שׁוּב
shuwb
{shoob}
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
ten 6235
{6235} Prime
עֶשֶׂר
`eser
{eh'-ser}
From H6237; ten (as an accumulation to the extent of the digits).
degrees, 4609
{4609} Prime
מַעֲלָה
ma`alah
{mah-al-aw'}
Feminine of H4608; elevation, that is, the act (literally a journey to a higher place, figuratively a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally a step or grade mark, figuratively a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms).
by which x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
degrees 4609
{4609} Prime
מַעֲלָה
ma`alah
{mah-al-aw'}
Feminine of H4608; elevation, that is, the act (literally a journey to a higher place, figuratively a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally a step or grade mark, figuratively a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms).
it was gone down. 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 38:8

_ _ bring again — cause to return (Joshua 10:12-14). In 2 Kings 20:9, 2 Kings 20:11, the choice is stated to have been given to Hezekiah, whether the shadow should go forward, or go back, ten degrees. Hezekiah replied, “It is a light thing (a less decisive miracle) for the shadow to go down (its usual direction) ten degrees: nay, but let it return backward ten degrees”; so Isaiah cried to Jehovah that it should be so, and it was so (compare Joshua 10:12, Joshua 10:14).

_ _ sundial of Ahaz — Herodotus (2.109) states that the sundial and the division of the day into twelve hours, were invented by the Babylonians; from them Ahaz borrowed the invention. He was one, from his connection with Tiglath-pileser, likely to have done so (2 Kings 16:7, 2 Kings 16:10). “Shadow of the degrees” means the shadow made on the degrees. Josephus thinks these degrees were steps ascending to the palace of Ahaz; the time of day was indicated by the number of steps reached by the shadow. But probably a sundial, strictly so called, is meant; it was of such a size, and so placed, that Hezekiah, when convalescent, could witness the miracle from his chamber. Compare Isaiah 38:21, Isaiah 38:22 with 2 Kings 20:9, where translate, shall this shadow go forward, etc.; the dial was no doubt in sight, probably “in the middle court” (2 Kings 20:4), the point where Isaiah turned back to announce God’s gracious answers to Hezekiah. Hence this particular sign was given. The retrogression of the shadow may have been effected by refraction; a cloud denser than the air interposing between the gnomon and dial would cause the phenomenon, which does not take from the miracle, for God gave him the choice whether the shadow should go forward or back, and regulated the time and place. Bosanquet makes the fourteenth year of Hezekiah to be 689 b.c., the known year of a solar eclipse, to which he ascribes the recession of the shadow. At all events, there is no need for supposing any revolution of the relative positions of the sun and earth, but merely an effect produced on the shadow (2 Kings 20:9-11); that effect was only local, and designed for the satisfaction of Hezekiah, for the Babylonian astronomers and king “sent to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land” (2 Chronicles 32:31), implying that it had not extended to their country. No mention of any instrument for marking time occurs before this dial of Ahaz, 700 b.c. The first mention of the “hour” is made by Daniel at Babylon (Daniel 3:6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Isaiah 38:1-8.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 38:8

Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which hath gone down on the (e) sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it had gone down.

(e) Read (2 Kings 20:8).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I will bring:

Joshua 10:12-14 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. ... And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
2 Kings 20:11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
2 Chronicles 32:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.
2 Chronicles 32:31 Howbeit in [the business of] the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was [done] in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all [that was] in his heart.
Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

the sun dial:
Heb. the degrees by, or, with the sun, Or, as the Hebrew might be rendered, "the steps of Ahaz." The researches of curious travellers in Hindostan, observes Bp. Stock, have lately discovered in that country, three observatories of similar form, the most remarkable of which is to be seen within four miles of Delhi, the ancient capital of the Mogul empire. A rectangled triangle, whose hypotenuse is a staircase (apparently parallel to the axis of the earth), bisects a zone, or coping of a wall, which wall connects the two terminating towers at right and left. The coping itself is of a circular form, and accurately graduated, to mark, by the gnomon above, the sun's progress before and after noon.
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Jsh 10:12. 2K 20:11. 2Ch 32:24, 31. Mt 16:1.

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In think you'll find this is a metaphor for inner vision of the ethereal sun inside in meditation. Much in the Bible is mystic allegory. The sun standing still for Joshua for example. All inside in meditation.
- Bob Wahler (1/4/2013 9:55:00 AM)
I WANT TO KNOW THAT, THE SUN REALLY WENT BACKWARD?
- STANLEY (11/21/2012 2:33:47 AM)
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