Isaiah 56:8 New International Version

The Sovereign LORD declares-- he who gathers the exiles of Israel: "I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered."

Who were those already gathered at the time the LORD declared this?

  • According to Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra the "Still Others" refers to The outcasts of Israel, that came from Babylon, Elam, and Assyria.8
    – Yeddu
    May 12, 2021 at 15:04
  • Do you have a link? reference? Thanks.
    – user35953
    May 12, 2021 at 15:11
  • sefaria.org/…
    – Yeddu
    May 12, 2021 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Thanks for the possibility you give to comment these marvellous prophetic God's utterances.

Regrettably, there are again many that accuse יהוה (Yahweh) to be the God of Israel only. Far from it! In fact, starting from the beginning of the chapter, through the God's spirit, Isaiah reports some expressions of God that indicate his goal to receive in His family everyone who wants to observe His laws.

Isa 56:1-2 [1] "Yahweh says, 'Maintain justice, and do what is right; for my salvation is near, and my righteousness will soon be revealed. [2]  Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast; who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” (World English Bible)

From the subsequent context we will see that with 'man/son of man' God here refers not only to the Israelites, but to every man that "keeps his hand from doing any evil".

In fact, the verse 3 says:

"Let no foreigner, who has joined himself to Yahweh, speak, saying, 'Yahweh will surely separate me from his people'. Do not let the eunuch say, 'Behold, I am a dry tree.'" (World English Bible)

Foreigner and eunuchs under the Mosaic Law were disqualified from coming into the Israel's community. To be considered a part of the congregation of Israel the foreigners have to become proselytes. But also in this case, even proselytes are not full participants in יהוה's covenant with Israel, and they have no land inheritance in the Good Country.

Regarding (physical, evidently) eunuchs, also them were disqualified from coming into the Israel's community (Deu 23:1). Moreover, they possessed the aggravating circumstance to being unable to father children to carry on their family name.

So, how God responded to the devoted life of some of these outcasts (נדחי)?

Isa 56:4-7:

[4] "For Yahweh says, 'To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast to my covenant: [5] I will give them in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters. I will give them an everlasting name, that will not be cut off. [6] Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yahweh, to serve him, and to love Yahweh’s name, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant; [7] I will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (World English Bible)

This was an eternal purpose of God. In fact, before Isaiah's time, king Solomon had mentioned a similar spiritual concept (1 Kin 8:29, 43). More important, Lord Jesus himself quoted (Mat 21:13; Mar 11:17; Luk 19:46) these words (of Isaiah's book) to enhance the fact that God had again the firm intention to accept everyone who serve Him, irrespective of nationality, or any other distinguishing factors. To the Samaritan woman he said:

"Jesus said to her, “[21] Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. [...][23] But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." (John 4:21, 23)

At this point, the understanding of the verse you search for (8) is more easily grasped:

Isa 56:8: "The Lord God, who gets together the wandering ones of Israel, says, I will get together others in addition to those of Israel who have come back. (Bible in Basic English).

Granted, Professor S. H. Hooke - the translator of BBE - added here the apposition 'Israel' which is absent from the Masoretic Texts. But the context tells us that the general concept of this verse is about the God's full acceptance of the outcasts (נדחי) - namely, the "others in addition" - besides the faithful individuals of Israel that were gathered yet ("those who have come back").

Finally, I leave you with a remark to ponder: Is it possible that Jesus had in mind a something similar when he speaks about "... other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd"? (ESV).


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