THE NECESSITY OF THE WORD OF GOD: Isaiah 8:19-20

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SCRIPTURE

ISAIAH 8:19-20 19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  1. Who are the “they” in verse 19? How do verses 14-18 help clarify?
  2. Read verse 19 again. What is a “medium”? What is a “necromancer”? What does it mean to “chirp and mutter” and why do you think Isaiah uses those words? Who should “a people inquire of”? 
  3. What is someone searching for who would “inquire of the mediums and the necromancers”? What is Isaiah getting at when he writes “Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?” at the end of verse 19? 
  4. In verse 20, what does Isaiah exhort (strongly encourage) God’s people to do in order to know what is true? What does “the teaching” and “the testimony” mean? 
  5. In verse 20, what does Isaiah say God’s professed people are revealing about themselves if they “will not speak according to [God’s] word”? What does Isaiah mean by that? What must we do, then?

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