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Isaiah 3:8 English Standard Version

For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.

Was Isaiah declaring a fact here or prophesying about the future?

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    Do you mean Jerusalem had 'fallen' morally by becoming "haughty" ( גָֽבְהוּ֙ ) / they-exalted [themselves] ? - [Isaiah 3:24] explains what consequences would occur regarding vain & indulgent lifestyles (at the expense of others; Isaiah 3:14-15 ). Oct 26, 2020 at 16:06
  • Whatever Isaiah mean by his word "fallen" is fine by me.
    – user35953
    Oct 26, 2020 at 16:15

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If we accept the statement in Isa 1:1, "that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah"; then it must necessarily be well before the fall of Jerusalem chronologically.

The Judean Kings all reigned in Jerusalem and following Hezekiah several more kings reigned, namely, Manesseh, Amnon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoikim, Jehoichin, , and Zedekiah.

the time between the end of Hezekiah's reign (about 686 BC) and the final destruction of of Jerusalem (about 586 BC) was about 100 years. That is, Isaiah was dead well before the sieges of Jerusalem.

An early Jewish tradition suggest that the evil king Manesseh executed Isaiah, but this possibility is not essential to answer the question at hand.

CONCLUSION

Based on the simple chronology of Isaiah itself, Isa 3:8 is therefore a prophecy about what would ultimately happen to Jerusalem because of the moral decadence of the people and its leadership.

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Isaiah 3:8 New International Version

Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.

New Living Translation

For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the LORD and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face.

English Standard Version

For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.

3 versions translated into 3 tenses. The original Hebrew is in the perfect tense. It is a special usage of the perfect.

Pulpit Commentary

Jerusalem is ruined; or, has come to ruin - the "perfect of prophetic certainty"

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Context, Context, Context, Context.....

We humans tend to mistakenly view this complex biblical literature & content in a grossly oversimplified & facile manner. We start reading the text Only by and in itself as opposed to reading text within the bounds of the larger context.

In this particular case, if the bible reader just reads Isaiah 3:8a(a) by and in itself then she/he might think that Jerusalem has been probably been besieged, destroyed & ruined by invaders :

Isaiah 3:8(a) English Standard Version

8(a) For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen,

However, if bible readers evaluate Isaiah 3:8(a) by taking in the larger context of Isaiah 3:8-11 then she/he might correctly interpret Jerusalem stumbling and falling to be related to moral failure of Jerusalem:

Isaiah 3:8-11 English Standard Version

8 For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence.[a]

9 For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. 10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. 11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.

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