Isaiah 8:12

ESV “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.
NIV Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
NASB 'You are not to say, ‘ It is a conspiracy!’ Regarding everything that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
CSB Do not call everything a conspiracy that these people say is a conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified.
NLT 'Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
KJV Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

What does Isaiah 8:12 mean?

The prophet Isaiah stated that God's influence was especially strong on him as this message was revealed. The Lord told Isaiah not to "walk" in the same way as people of Judah. This means Isaiah was not to follow their example. His people have earned the Lord's judgment with their sinful beliefs and practices (Isaiah 8:11).

Now Isaiah quotes the Lord telling him not to believe the conspiracy theories that circulate among the people. No specific conspiracies are mentioned, but human nature has always tried to explain difficult circumstances in overly simple terms. Sometimes those explanations have no basis in what is real. Conspiracies usually involve assigning secret motives to those in power. They can also be suggestions that those who seem powerless are secretly in control of everything behind the scenes. When such conspiracies take root among a people, they can cause immense panic and damage. The priority of knowing what is true gets lost as people get caught up in fear.

One result of buying into conspiracies is to stop trusting in the Lord and His control over all things. Instead, those who believe such lies live in fear and dread of forces they cannot control and believe are set against them. Such fear is not from God. Unlike the people of Judah, Isaiah must continue to fear the Lord alone and trust in Him.
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