Literal Hebrew says, “stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor”. Calvin says: “tarry and wonder”
Rotherham says: “stand ye stock still and stare.” The point is that Isaiah is telling them to think
real hard and try to figure out what he is saying. But, mockingly, they will never figure out his message because of their rebellion.
The main problem with Jerusalem is that the spiritual and moral leaders are so blind by their own traditional religious system that they can not even understand God’s revelation if it were written down. The prophets and the seers do not understand what God is saying nor can anyone read and understand the words of the prophets or of the Law.
Jerusalem rejected the revelation that they understood. If people see the will of God and refuse
to do it they will become incapable of seeing and doing any further thing God has revealed. As a result of this they will be spiritually blinded from understanding anything further. If you reject
known spiritual truths, you will be cut off by God in the future from understanding other truth.
This would result in Jerusalem slipping further and further away from God and into judgment.
Intentional resistance and rebellion to God results in being left in the darkness of the soul. In this condition a person will act out the darkness that is in them which will ultimately destroy their life and demand God's judgment.
This is fulfillment of God's words to Isaiah concerning his ministry in chapter 6 when God called him::
Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of his people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.
Interestingly God does not rebuke the priests here but the prophets. The priest and the Levites were to lead the established worship and teach the people the law. The prophet was to wake the people up and call them back to the Law of Moses. The priest came from within the established religious system, but the prophets came from outside the system. (Or, if they where from a priestly family like Jeremiah they quickly found themselves outside the system.)
Revelation has been cut off. The people chose not to obey God, now they do not even remember.
No one will be able to speak and explain the word of God.
Those who are trained and can read can not understand it. Those who are not trained can't even read it. The idea communicated here is that people are without hope in this culture because the trained religious leaders are too “drunk” on religion to understand revelation. This leaves the discovery of the revelation to the untrained who can not even read it naturally let alone interpret it.
Notice that the scrolls and the doctrine is still there, it just can not be understood.
Because the prophets have failed to reveal God’s words (written in the scroll) the people have fallen into religious manipulation by the priest
Because they do not understand the revelation they must reduce it to rules and regulations.
They turn it into a religion.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
- Romans 9:30-34
Faith is seen here as a soft heart determined to respond and follow God.
Not rules and regulations that are used to replace relationship and righteousness.
Because they are so dull spiritually that they cannot hear the prophet and they can not read the scriptures, God will have to shock them into understanding like he did when he brought them out of Egypt.
God will work a wonder. The Lord will upset any image they have of him fitting into their religious box. Throughout church history and in many countries God has exploded on the scene with a novel and amazing work without contradicting his word and character. But, also without consulting the local religious institutions!