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Isaiah 9:15

ESV the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
NIV the elders and dignitaries are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
NASB The head is the elder and esteemed man, And the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.
CSB The head is the elder, the honored one; the tail is the prophet, the one teaching lies.
NLT The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail.
KJV The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

What does Isaiah 9:15 mean?

Isaiah is describing the sudden loss of all of Israel's leadership (Isaiah 9:14). The Lord has caused this to happen because the people of Israel still would not turn to Him for help (Isaiah 9:13). This is after the previous judgment of destruction by other nations. Because the leaders of the northern ten tribes of Israel did not direct the people to seek the Lord and His help, those leaders are suddenly and irreversibly wiped out.

These leaders include both "head and tail," Isaiah states (Isaiah 9:14). The head are the honored elders who appear to deserve attention and respect, though they do not. The tail are the false prophets who have been telling those leaders whatever they want to hear to keep their own positions and power. They will claim messages from the Lord or from false gods. The Lord will cut them all off at once, leaving Israel leaderless and vulnerable to attack.
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