Declaration of Isaiah to his disciples (Isa 8:16-8:20)

“Bind up the testimony!

Seal the teaching

Among my disciples!

I will wait for Yahweh,

Who is hiding his face

From the house of Jacob.

I will hope in him.


I am a sign.

The children

Whom Yahweh has given me

Are portents in Israel

From Yahweh of hosts.

He dwells on Mount Zion.

Now if people say to you.

‘Consult the wizard ghosts!

Consult with the familiar spirits

Who chirp and mutter!’

Should not a people consult their gods?

Should they not consult the dead

On behalf of the living

For teaching,

For instruction?

Surely those who speak like this

Will have no dawn.”

Isaiah wanted his disciples to have and keep his testimony. He wanted his teachings to be put aside and bound up his works. This is probably why we have so many oracles of Isaiah. He was waiting on Yahweh, the Lord, who was hiding his face from the house of Jacob. However, Isaiah had hope because he and his children were signs or omens of good things to come. He knew that Yahweh lived on Mount Zion. He then warned his disciples not to be fooled when people told them to consult with various idol gods, ghosts, mediums, wizards, or spirits to find out what to do. Why would you want to consult with the dead to find out instructions on how to live? As he points out, people like this probably will not see the dawn, since they are destined for death.

King Manasseh desecrates the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr 33:4-33:9)

“King Manasseh built altars in the house of Yahweh. Yahweh had said. ‘In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.’ He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Yahweh. He made his son pass through fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He practiced soothsaying, augury, and sorcery. He dealt with mediums and wizards. He did much evil in the sight of Yahweh, provoking him to anger. He set in the house of God the carved image of an idol that he had made. God had said to King David and to his son King Solomon. ‘In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. I will never again remove the feet of Israel from the land that I appointed for your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law the statutes, and the ordinances given through Moses.’ King Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Judah, so that they did more evil than the nations whom Yahweh had destroyed before the people of Israel.”

This section is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 21, with only a few minor changes. Here in Jerusalem, King Manasseh built altars to other gods in the very court yards of the Temple itself, the house of Yahweh. He offered his son as an offering in fire in the valley of Hinnom. He was a soothsayer, dealing with mediums and wizards. He really made Yahweh angry. He set a carved image of his idol god and put it in the Temple. The name of the god Asherah was not mentioned here as in 2 Kings. Yahweh had commanded King David and King Solomon to keep the Mosaic commandments and worship his name in Jerusalem, the place that Yahweh had chosen. However, the people of Jerusalem were misled by King Manasseh. They did not listen to Moses. They had become worse that the nations that were destroyed before the people of Israel came to the Promised Land. The house of Yahweh, the Temple, was desecrated with all these other images of foreign gods. All of the good of King Hezekiah was wiped away as the Temple of Yahweh became a pantheon of various gods.