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Isaiah 8:19 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and unto the wizards, that chirp and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of the living [should they seek] unto the dead?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? [Should they] [consult] the dead on behalf of the living?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek to their God? for the living to the dead?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto the necromancers and unto the soothsayers, who chirp and who mutter, [say,] Shall not a people seek unto their God? [Will they go] for the living unto the dead?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But, when they say unto you—Seek ye unto the necromancers and unto the wizards, who chirp, and who mutter, Should not a people seek, unto its God? In behalf of the living, [should it seek] unto the dead?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And when they say unto you, 'Seek unto those having familiar spirits, And unto wizards, who chatter and mutter, Doth not a people seek unto its God?—For the living unto the dead!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And when they shall say to you: Seek of pythons, and of diviners, who mutter in their enchantments: should not the people seek of their God, for the living of the dead?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And when they shall say vnto you; Seeke vnto them that haue familiar spirits, and vnto wizards that peepe and that mutter: should not a people seeke vnto their God? for the liuing, to the dead?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And if they should say to you, Seek those who have in them a divining spirit, and them that speak out of the earth, them that speak vain words, who speak out of their belly: shall not a nation diligently seek to their God? why do they seek to the dead concerning the living?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their Elohim? for the living to the dead?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And when x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
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 shall say 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
you, Seek 1875
{1875} Prime
דּרשׁ
darash
{daw-rash'}
A primitive root; properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship.
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
them that have familiar spirits, 178
{0178} Prime
אוֹב
'owb
{obe}
From the same as H0001 (apparently through the idea of prattling a father's name); properly a mumble, that is, a water skin (from its hollow sound); hence a necromancer (ventriloquist, as from a jar).
and unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
wizards 3049
{3049} Prime
יִדְּעֹנִי
yidd@`oniy
{yid-deh-o-nee'}
From H3045; properly a knowing one; specifically a conjurer; (by implication) a ghost.
that peep, 6850
{6850} Prime
צָפַף
tsaphaph
{tsaw-faf'}
A primitive root; to coo or chirp (as a bird).
z8772
<8772> Grammar
Stem - Pilpel (See H8842)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 9
and that mutter: 1897
{1897} Prime
הָגַה
hagah
{haw-gaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1901); to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder.
z8688
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
should not x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
a people 5971
{5971} Prime
עַם
`am
{am}
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
seek 1875
{1875} Prime
דּרשׁ
darash
{daw-rash'}
A primitive root; properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
their lhm אֱלֹהִים? 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
for x1157
(1157) Complement
בַּעַד
b@`ad
{beh-ad'}
From H5704 with prepositional prefix; in up to or over against; generally at, beside, among, behind, for, etc.
the living 2416
{2416} Prime
חַי
chay
{khah'-ee}
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
to x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the dead? 4191
{4191} Prime
מָמוֹת
muwth
{mooth}
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
z8801
<8801> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 309
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 8:19

_ _ Seek unto — Consult in your national difficulties.

_ _ them ... familiar spirits — necromancers, spirit charmers. So Saul, when he had forsaken God (1 Samuel 28:7, etc.), consulted the witch of En-dor in his difficulties. These follow in the wake of idolatry, which prevailed under Ahaz (2 Kings 16:3, 2 Kings 16:4, 2 Kings 16:10). He copied the soothsaying as he did the idolatrous “altar” of Damascus (compare Leviticus 20:6, which forbids it, Isaiah 19:3).

_ _ wizards — men claiming supernatural knowledge; from the old English, “to wit,” that is, know.

_ _ peep — rather “chirp faintly,” as young birds do; this sound was generally ascribed to departed spirits; by ventriloquism the soothsayers caused a low sound to proceed as from a grave, or dead person. Hence the Septuagint renders the Hebrew for “necromancers” here “ventriloquists” (compare Isaiah 29:4).

_ _ mutter — moan.

_ _ should not, etc. — The answer which Isaiah recommends to be given to those advising to have recourse to necromancers.

_ _ for the living, etc. — “should one, for the safety of the living, seek unto (consult) the dead?” [Gesenius]. Lowth renders it, “In place of (consulting) the living, should one consult the dead?”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Isaiah 8:16-22.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 8:19

And when they — The Israelites, who are fallen from God, into superstition and idolatry. You — My children, whom the prophet arms against the common temptation. Mutter — That speak with a low voice, as these two words signify, which they affected to do, speaking rather inwardly in their bellies, than audibly with their mouths. Should not — This answer the prophet puts into their mouths, doth not every nation, in cases of difficulty, seek to their gods? Much more should we do so, that have the only true God for our God. For the living — That is, for living men to enquire of the living God, is proper and reasonable; but it is highly absurd for them to forsake him, and to seek dead idols, either to the images, or to the spirits of dead men, which are supposed to speak in them.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 8:19

And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that are mediums, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter: (u) should not a people seek to their God? for the (x) living to the dead?

(u) Answer the wicked thus, should not God's people seek comfort only from him?

(x) That is, will they refuse to be taught by the prophet, who is the mouth of God, and seek help from the dead, which is the illusion of Satan?

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Seek:

Isaiah 19:3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
Leviticus 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Deuteronomy 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
1 Samuel 28:8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me [him] up, whom I shall name unto thee.
1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, [even] against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking [counsel] of [one that had] a familiar spirit, to enquire [of it];
2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

that peep:

Isaiah 29:4 And thou shalt be brought down, [and] shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

should not:

1 Samuel 28:16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?
2 Kings 1:3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, [Is it] not because [there is] not a God in Israel, [that] ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

for the living:

Psalms 106:28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD [is] the true God, he [is] the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Lv 20:6. Dt 18:11. 1S 28:8, 16. 2K 1:3. 1Ch 10:13. 2Ch 33:6. Ps 106:28. Is 19:3; 29:4. Jr 10:10. 1Th 1:9. 2P 2:1.

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