ISAIAH

Isaiah  Volume I - Chapters 1-5

I. Introduction to the Book of Isaiah

1. Historical background: Israel had sinned and the Lord divided the nation after Solomon's reign and gave 10 tribes (the Northern Kingdom called Israel) to Jeroboam (who was not a descendant of David) who made two calves of gold and set them up as gods in Dan and Bethel. (I Kings 12:28‑29; 945 BC)  Two tribes were given to Rehoboam as king of the Southern Kingdom called Judah.  It was to Judah this prophecy was primarily delivered.

2. The date: Dates are hard to put an exact figure on in the days of the kings, due to overlapping reign of their sons; therefore, you will see many variations in the commentaries.  We will place the beginning date approximately in 760 BC and ending about 698 BC, thus covering a span of about 62 years of the history of Judah.

3. The writer: The Holy Spirit is the author, (II Peter 1:21; II Tim. 3:16) but Isaiah is the human instrument the Lord used to pen this book down.  There are some who believe that Isaiah wrote part of this book and someone else was used to write part of it, but there is not enough evidence to show this is true.  Therefore, we will attribute it to Isaiah.

4. This book: Isaiah is called by man a major prophet.  This is due to the length of the prophecy.  No matter the length, it is still God's prophecy and it is important; thus, it is profitable to us. (Rom. 15:4)  As there are sixty‑six books in the Bible, so there are sixty‑six chapters in this book of Isaiah as it appears in our English version (KJV).  As the sixty‑six books of the Bible are divided into thirty‑nine of the OT and twenty‑seven of the NT, so the sixty‑six chapters of Isaiah are divided into thirty‑nine and twenty‑seven.  Also, as the thirty‑nine books of the OT are mainly occupied with the law and judgment which comes on those who disobey it, so the first thirty-nine chapters of Isaiah are mainly occupied with the thought of judgment on the covenant people because of their disobedience to the Law.  As the twenty‑seven books of the NT are mainly occupied with the message of Divine grace and salvation which it brings, so the last twenty‑seven chapters of Isaiah are a message of Divine grace and comfort and of coming salvation.  Thus, the book of Isaiah is a kind of Bible all in itself.

5. The theme: There are several thoughts we could use as a theme‑‑grace, redemption, and warnings of judgment to name a few, but the theme that jumped out at me is "His hand is stretched out still."  This phrase can be expressive of protection, invitation, or punishment.  It is used five times and the context refers to punishment. (Isa. 5:25; 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4)  The Lord has chided Judah for their sin and rebellion and it would seem that there was no hope for them, but a long‑suffering Lord says through his prophet, "His hand is stretched out still." Even though it meant judgment, I believe that He would forgive them if they practiced II Chron. 7:14, for it was over 100 years before Judah went into captivity.  We can draw strength from that.

 

CHAPTER 1:

 

V. 1

1. "The vision" = this was one of God's ways to speak to His people in OT time (Num. 12:6); a technical term for divine revelation, as something displayed before the mind's eye of the prophet; this is a title given to Isaiah's prophecies; also stated in II Chron. 32:32; prophets were usually called "seers" (I Sam. 9:9), so prophecy was called "vision;" in these visions the objects probably were made to pass before the mind of the prophet as a picture.

2. "Isaiah" = name means "Jehovah is salvation;" "the son of Amoz" = name means strong or courageous; we do not know much about him; in fact the 13 times his name is used, it is always tied to Isaiah as it is in the verse.

3. "Concerning Judah and Jerusalem" = "Judah" is the Southern Kingdom consisting of two tribes‑‑Judah and Benjamin while "Jerusalem" was the capital of the Kingdom of Judah; it was on the dividing line between the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin; it is interesting to note that Jerusalem is considered the center of the earth, for all the countries east of Jerusalem are called the eastern countries and those west are called the western countries.

4. "The days" = refers to the time.

5. "Uzziah" = he was King Amaziah's son and a good king; 16 years old when he begin to reign and reigned 52 years (II Chron. 26:1, 3‑4) he was also known as Azariah (II Kings 15:1‑3); he fell into the sin of pride and attempted an act of sacrilege (crime of violating sacred things) (II Chron. 26:16‑21); he died a leper; it seems Isaiah did not start his ministry until the last few years of Uzziah's reign.

6. "Jotham" = Uzziah's son; he was a good king; he probably co‑reigned with his father for several years while he was sick (possibly 10 years); he began to reign at the age of 25 and reigned 16 years. (II Chron. 27:1‑2)

7. "Ahaz" = Jotham's son; he was a wicked and idolatrous king, who led the kingdom astray; he began to reign at the age of 20 and reigned 16 years. (II Chron. 28:1-4)

8. "Hezekiah" = Ahaz's son; he was a good king; he begin his reign at the age of 25 and reigned 29 years. (II Chron. 29:1‑2); notice we mostly used Chronicles, which list primarily the kings of Judah, while Kings lists both the Northern and the Southern kingdom's kings.

 

II. Oracles of Retribution and Restitution.

     Chapters 1-39

V. 2

1. "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth" = all nature is called to hear Jehovah make complaint of ingratitude of His people; the heavens and the earth are summoned to bear witness to the apostasy, ingratitude, and deep depravity of the chosen people of God.

2. "For the LORD hath spoken" = since it is Jehovah that speaks, all the universe is summoned to attend.

3. "I have nourished and brought up children" = indicated Jehovah had raised Israel to greatness and exalted him among the nations; He still acknowledges them as sons (children) even though they were disobedient.

4. "They" = His chosen people‑‑Judah.

5. "Rebelled" = to break away; to trespass; to apostatize; this is a strong word that could be rendered "they revolted from me;" God had shown them special favors; He recounted His mercy in bringing them out of Egypt and on the ground of this, He demanded obedience and love; but they had forgotten Him and rebelled against Him.

6. The same is true of all sinners, but thank the Lord, "His hand is outstretched still."

 

V. 3

1. "The ox knoweth his owner" = a well known domestic animal destitute of reason and conscience, but has a willingness to toil and be submissive to his owner.

2. "The ass " = the donkey which was well known for dullness and stupidity, yet he knows "his master's crib" = applies to the stall, barn, or crib, where cattle are fed or made fat; the donkey has sufficient knowledge to understand that his support is derived from that.

3. "But" = in italics but supplied by the translators to reveal the contrast and comparison; the idea is, that the ox was more submissive to laws than the Jews and that the most stupid animal knew where support was to be derived from better than Judah did the source of their comfort and protection.

4. "Israel" = used in a general sense to denote the whole people of the Jews, including the kingdom of Judah; it refers here to the kingdom of Judah even though the name was identified with the Northern kingdom after the division of the tribes.

5. "Doth not know" = does not acknowledge its master and owner, pays Him no respect, does not recognize Him as either Owner or Master.

6. "My people" = Israel was God's chosen people and despite all their sins, faults, and failures, He had not cast them off; they are still His people in contrast to the Gentiles, among whom they are to be "set as a sign" (Isa. 66:19); Israel was chosen or elected by God not for the other nations to be rejected, but to be a light (sign) to other nations that they might come in through the Jewish nation and get in on the blessings of God.

7. "Doth not consider" = do not understand; the idea is that His people does not regard nor respect Jehovah as Lord and Master.

 

V. 4

1. "Ah" = similar to "woe;" not a mere exclamation expressing astonishment; it is an interjection announcing threatening or punishment.

2. "Sinful nation" = the corruption pertained to the nation as a whole and not merely a part (Judah is just a part); it (corruption) had become general; the nation had been called to be holy (Exo. 19:6) but had sunk in sin and wickedness.

3. "A people laden with iniquity" = heavy with guilt of their evil doings; the psalmist David expressed it well in dealing with his own guilt. (Psa. 38:4)

4. "A seed of evildoers" = not descendants of evildoers but an evildoing seed or race; refers to the offspring or descendants practicing evil.

5. "Children that are corrupters" = sons that do corruptly; it is not their corrupting of others, though that might follow but corruption that was in themselves; the corruption was both moral and doctrinal; "corrupt" means to entice from good and allure to evil; to infect with error.

6. "They have forsaken the LORD" = not by renouncing His worship, which they still continued (see verses 14‑15) but by reducing it to a formality; Isa. 29:13 says it best.

7. "They have provoked unto anger" = the meaning is, that they had so despised the Lord, as to arouse His indignation‑‑anger or extreme anger, mingled with contempt, disgust, or abhorrence.

8. "The Holy One of Israel" = God, called such because He was revealed to them as their God or they were taught to regard Him as the sacred object of their worship; this title of Jehovah is a favorite of Isaiah and he uses it 27 times in his prophecy.

9. "They are gone away backward" = they have turned their backs upon Him; instead of looking to God, and following after Him, they "followed a multitude to do evil" which they were commanded not to do in Exo. 23:2.

 

V. 5

1. "Ye" = Judah in context; applies to any nation who has been punished for their sin.

2. "Stricken" = similar to "chastize;" to punish; to afflict; the sense is that suffering must follow sin as was the case with this nation‑‑they had already been stricken and verse 7‑9 bears this out; similar to chastise.

3. "Why should ye be stricken any more?" = instead of saying that they had been smitten or they had been punished for their sins, he assumes both and asks why should it repeated; the Hebrew construction indicates "what part of the body can be found on which blows have not been inflicted?"

4. "More" = again; repeatedly.

5. "Ye will revolt more and more" = the idea is that the effect of calamity and punishment will be only to increase rebellion; when the heart is right with God, the tendency of affliction is to humble it and to lead it more and more to God; when the heart is evil, the tendency is to make the sinner more obstinate and rebellious; thus, they become more and more alienated from God.

6. Isaiah now begins to compare the Jewish people to the members of the human body by using a metaphor which is a comparison or figure‑‑a man severely beaten black and blue.

7. "The whole head is sick" = denotes that the head was entirely sick; the word "head" in the Scriptures is often used to denote the princes, leaders, or chiefs of the nation, which may be the case here.

8. "The whole heart faint" = when the head is pained there is also sickness of heart; "faint" means sick, feeble, without vigor, attended with nausea; their punishment had been so severe for their sins that the heart was feeble‑‑still keeping up the figure drawn from the human body.

 

V. 6

1. "From the sole of the foot even unto the head" = we might say "from head to foot;" refers to every part of the body; when applied to Judah it means from the lowest of the people even unto the princes.

2. "No soundness in it" = no part that has not been affected; it is all smitten and sore.

3. "But wounds" = refers to an open wound or a cut from which blood flows.

4. "And bruises" = means a contusion (the act of beating and bruising) or the effect of a blow where the skin is not broken; such a contusion to produce a swelling or make it as we would say, "black and blue."

5. "And putrifying sores" = refers to fresh wounds, perhaps a running wound which will not heal.

6. "They have not been closed" = they have not been pressed‑‑explained to mean that they have not had the forming pus pressed out of the sores.

7. "Neither bound up" = not bandaged.

8. "Neither mullified with ointment" = means their wounds were not made safe or tender by the act of olives often used for this purpose.

9. The whole figure in verses 5‑6 relates from their being punished for their sins.  It is taken from the appearance of a man who is severely beaten or scourged for crime.  The general sentiment of the entire passage is that there had been no medical treatment for the wounds of any kind.  They have been left to themselves, to spread corruption over the whole body.  No attempt had been made to cure them.

10. It sounds as if Judah has gone too far and there is no hope, but later Isaiah says "His hand is stretched out still."

 

V. 7

1. Isaiah begins to make literal statements concerning Judah that he had affirmed in verses 5‑6 by a metaphor which is a comparison or figure‑‑a man severely beaten black and blue.

2. "Your country is desolate" = the Hebrew construction is an emphatic expression denoting that the desolation was so universal that the land might be said to be entirely in ruins; this had been threatened as one of the curses for disobedience (Lev. 26:14‑15, 33); this was probably during Uzziah's reign as a result of the Syrian invasion during the days of Joash, king of Judah (who did right as long as Johoiada the priest was alive but turned to idols when he died, and the Lord punished the nation) (II Chron. 24:1-2, 15‑19, 23‑24); also Israel, the Northern Kingdom, came against Judah when Amaziah was king (II Kings 14:1, 3, 8‑14); thus, the country was desolate when Uzziah began to reign and probably had not recovered from these two invasions even though there was temporary prosperity during Uzziah's reign.

3. "Your cities are burned with fire" = due to the two invasions just mentioned; this was a common fate of cities taken in war.

4. "Your land" = soil; denotes the ground which bore crops.

5. "Strangers" = foreigners; refers to those who were not of the kingdom of Judah; word often is used to denote an enemy.

6. "Devour it" = consume its provisions.

7. "In your presence" = before your eyes, as you look on; this is an aggravation of the affliction‑‑they were not able to prevent it.

8. "It is desolate, as overthrown by strangers" = the land was as if an invading army had passed through it and completely overturned everything.

9. America seems to parallel Judah, therefore America needs to take notice of this prophecy and be aware. A nation's sin will not go unpunished, yet "His hand is stretched out still."

 

V. 8

1. "The daughter of Zion" = refers to the city of Jerusalem, personified in accordance with a common custom in Eastern writers, by which beautiful towns and cities are likened to young females.

2. "Is left" = denotes left as a part of or remnant is left‑‑not left entirely or completely, but in a weakened or divided state.

3. "As a cottage in a vineyard" = as a booth, shade, or shelter; a temporary habitation erected in vineyards and to those appointed to watch the vineyard to guard it from robbery and the animals eating the grapes; refers to Jerusalem being left amidst the surrounding desolation as a temporary abode, soon to be destroyed.

4. "As a lodge" = denotes a place for spending the night; means a temporary abode; constructed to be a shelter to those who guarded the enclosure from thieves, jackals, (resembles a dog or fox) and small foxes.

5. "In a garden of cucumbers" = probably includes everything of the melon kind, as well as the cucumber; the meaning is that Jerusalem seemed to be left as a temporary, lonely habitation, soon to be forsaken and destroyed.

5. "As a besieged city" = as a city taken by siege; the idea is that Jerusalem, alone preserved amidst the desolation spreading throughout the land, resembles a temporary lodge in the garden‑‑itself soon to be removed or destroyed.

 

V. 9

1. "Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant" = a "remnant" refers to those which remain and refers to a few and when described as "very small" indicates there were only a few of the few left; and this is due entirely to the mercy of God, not to the goodness of the nation, nor to any power or merit of the people‑‑just mercy.

2. "LORD of hosts" = this represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven‑‑applies to the angels which surround the throne of God; the word "hosts" means literally armies; and Jehovah is represented as the ruler of the hosts of heaven; this is the warring name of God and is equal to the "Lord of Sabaoth" in Rom. 9:29.

3. "We should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah" = this does not refer to the character of the people but their destiny; if God had not intervened to save them they would have been overwhelmed entirely as Sodom was. (Gen. 19:24‑25)

 

V. 10

1. "Hear" = it could have been that the people had begun their plea but Isaiah stops them, "do not speak to no purpose, but hear" = to hear clearly and then obey what you heard.

2. "The word of the LORD" = the message the Lord has for you.

3. "Ye rulers of Sodom" = having said in the proceeding verse how nearly Jerusalem had suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, the prophet grows more bold and proceeds to give Jerusalem's rulers the obnoxious name of "Sodom" and her people also the obnoxious name of "Gomorrah;" there is as much wickedness, though it may not be the same wickedness, in the "daughter of Zion" at this present time, as in the cities of the plain when God destroyed them.

4. "Give ear" = to broaden out the ear with the hand as a near deaf man cups his hand behind his ear to hear better what is being said to him.

5. "The law of our God" = refers to the instruction or direction that was about to be uttered.

 

V. 11

1. "Sacrifices" = the word used here denotes any sacrifice which was made by blood; it is applied to the sin‑offering; refers to any offering that consisted in an animal being offered.

2. "Is the multitude" = a vast number; there was no deficiency in the amount of offerings offered in compliance with the requirements of the law; they offered an abundance of sacrifices.

3. "To what purpose...unto me?" = what is it to me? or what profit or pleasure can I have in them?

4. "Me" = "I" = Jehovah replies that all this would be of no use and would meet with no acceptance, unless it was the offering of the heart; He demanded righteousness and without that, all external offerings would be vain.

5. "Burnt offerings of rams" = rams formed a part of the required sacrifice on all great occasions (Num. 29:1‑2); "burnt offerings" are applied to a sacrifice wholly consumed on the altar except the skin and the blood; this was commonly a voluntary offering (Lev. 1:3) which showed their zeal to comply with the external forms of religion.

6. "I am full" = overfull; indicated He was weary, tired, and disgusted with them (sacrifices) because they were not accompanied by a proper frame of mind.

7. "The fat" = was considered by the Hebrew as an expression of giving their best to Him.

8. "Fed beasts" = those which were kept separate in stalls or sheds for some time before the sacrifice and given food in which there was nothing "unclean," thus they sacrificed the best they had.

9. "Bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats" = these together with "rams" constituted all the sacrificial beasts of the Hebrews.

10. "I delight not in the blood of etc." = the Lord admits the people complied externally with the requirement of the law in offering sacrifices but it brought Him no satisfaction or pleasure because their heart was not in it.

 

V. 12

1. "When ye come to appear before me" = means to appear in His temple as a worshiper; three times a year all male adults were required to attend the feast at the temple in Jerusalem where the Lord chose to put His name. (Deut. 16:16)

2. "Who hath required this" = God had required that they appear but it was not required that they should appear with the wrong spirit they now possess.

3. "At your hand" = who ask it of you.

4. "To tread my courts" = the courts of the temple were the different areas or open spaces which surrounded it; no one but the priests entered the temple itself.

5. The sense of this verse is, "Who had required you to tread these courts with this hollow, heartless service?"

 

V. 13

1. "Bring no more vain oblations" = the command is not to cause the bringing of oblations to cease but do not bring any more oblations that are vain.

2. "Oblations" = denotes a gift or present of any kind, especially a present or offering to Deity‑‑God.

3. "Vain" = emptiness; a worthless thing; refers to offerings that were hollow, false, deceitful, and hypocritical.

4. "Incense" = a gum obtained from a tree used in worship and when burned it produced an agreeable odor, thus called a sacrifice of sweet smell (Phil. 4:18); symbolizes prayer.

5. "Is an abomination unto me" = God had commanded the use of incense in worship, but if no heartfelt prayer accompanied its use, it was empty of all its significance and became hateful to God‑‑a mere form, thus an "abomination" = something disgusting; something which is especially abhorrent (extreme hatred) to the Lord.

6. "New moons" = Moses did not command that these would be observed as a festival except at the beginning of the year but it is probable that the Jews observed each return of the new moon as such.

7. "Sabbaths" = word means properly a day of rest; refers to weekly Sabbaths as well as special days during the feasts that were set aside as a day of rest. (Lev. 23:7)

8. "The calling of assemblies" = the solemn convocations (an assembly) or meetings at their festivals and fasts.

9. "I cannot away with" = I cannot bear or endure, thus cease to do these things without your heart being in them.

10. "It is iniquity" = wickedness; ungodliness.

11. "Even the solemn meeting" = this applies only to particular days in the great festival seasons; the meaning is that even the very highest occasions of religious worship were abused by the Israelites of the time and made an offence to God because their heart was not in what they did‑‑just going through the motion.

 

V. 14

1. This verse is basically repetition of verse 13, spoken by the Lord as if He was full of the subject and inclined to dwell upon it.

2. "My soul hateth" = refers to Jehovah detesting the people observing the celebrations of the new moon and the appointed feasts of Leviticus 23; even though they were commanded to observe them, they no longer honored God, no longer expressed love and dedication to Him for their hearts were not in it.

3. "They are a trouble unto me" = denotes a burden, and oppressive load that produces weariness in bearing it; this is a strong expression denoting that their acts of hypocrisy and sin had become so numerous that they became a heavy, oppressive load.

4. "I am weary to bear them" = this is language which is taken from the act of carrying a burden until a man becomes weary and faint; Jehovah is speaking as a man for He would not become weary physically.

 

V. 15

1. "And when ye spread forth your hands" = refers to hand spread out with palms upward in an attitude of submission and supplication "when ye make many prayers;" when we ask for help, we naturally stretch out our hands, as if to receive it; desiring to receive from the Lord meant nothing when they were really seeking their own way and rejecting God's teaching; the fact is the Lord told His people to do this. (Psa. 141:2; I Tim. 2:8)

2. "I will hide mine eyes from you" = means I (Jehovah) will not attend to or regard your supplications.

3. "I will not hear" = means He will not answer their prayers.

4. "Your hands are full of blood" = this is the reason for the Lord not responding to their request; this expression graphically describes how the people were oppressing the poor and using violence to get what they wanted; also actual bloodshed may be the case as the people murdered Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest (II Chron. 24:20‑21); traditional history says that Isaiah was put in a hollow log and sawed into‑‑this may be what is referred to in Heb. 11:37.

 

V. 16

1. Beginning with this verse God now declares what He required of His people.

2. "Wash you" = refers to their having blood on their hands; this is to be understood in a moral sense, meaning they should put away their sins; sin is represented in the Scriptures as defiling or polluting the soul and the removal of it is represented by the act of washing. (Psa. 51:2)

3. "Make you clean" = this would require a work of God called repentance‑‑their repentance must include a clear break with sin and an inner change, for God sees the heart; these two phrases coupled together could not be misunderstood by the Israelites for they knew it was a requirement to "wash their hands in innocency." (Psa. 26:6)

4. "Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes" = not "hide it" for that was impossible, but remove it altogether‑‑in other words, "cease to do evil."

5. The prophet is specifying what was necessary in order that their prayers might be heard and that they might find acceptance with God.

 

V. 17

1. In verse 16 we saw the negative and now comes the positive.

2. "Learn" = to become accustomed to; to practice.

3. "To do well" = in a proper manner; justly; rightly; stands opposed to all kinds of evil.

4. "Seek" = to pursue; to search for, as an object to be gained; to regard or care for it, as the main thing.

5. "Judgment" = justice; instead of seeking gain and bribes and public favor, the judges or magistrates (the prophet had them in view in his prophecy) were to make it an object of intense interest to do justice.

6. "Relieve" = make straight or right; applied to leaders it means to conduct those under their care in a straight path and not in the devices and crooked ways of sin.

7. "The oppressed" = refers to the person to whom injustice has been done in regard to his character, person, or property.

8. "Judge the fatherless" = do justice to the orphans; see that they are not wronged; this charge was necessary due to the guardians of orphans that could easily defraud or oppress them without danger of detection or punishment. (Deut. 24:17)

9. "Plead for the widow" = contend for her rights; aid her by vindicating her cause.

10. The widow and the orphan were taken under God's special protection from the time of Moses and constantly commended to the care of the righteous. (Exo. 22:22‑24)

 

V. 18

1. This verse reveals the mercifulness of the God whom they rebelled against, rejected, and offended.  In context it is spoken to the nation of Israel and especially to Judah but it has an application to sinners.

2. "Come now" = this is a gracious invitation from the Lord.

3. "Reason" = to analyze; to think logically; draw conclusions from facts known.

4. "Let us reason together" = how could a Holy God say such a thing to sinful man? because of the incarnation‑‑God robed in flesh--He understood. (Heb. 4:14-15)

5. "Though your sins be as scarlet" = "scarlet" is a fixed color; no dew, nor rain, nor washing, nor long usage would remove it; thus, it represents the fixedness and permanency of sins in the heart; no human means will wash them out; no effort of man, no external rites, no tears, no sacrifices, no prayers, are of themselves sufficient to take them away; they are deep fixed in the heart as the scarlet color was in the web of cloth and an almighty power is needed to remove them.

6. "They shall be as white as snow" = white is the emblem of innocence or purity; there can be no better image of purity than snow.

7. "Though they be red like crimson" = this phrase is similar to the former phrase, thus, double emphasis concerning one's sins and also concerning their (sins) removal.

8. "They shall be as wool" = refers to white wool that had never been dyed; the resemblance of falling snow to wool in noted in Psa. 147:16.

9. This cleansing is promised only after a work of Holy Ghost conviction and repentance is exercised by a change of heart, attitude, and action indicated as being required in verse 16‑17.

 

V. 19

1. "If ye be willing" = means to consent in your will; this requires a work of Holy Ghost conviction and manifestation of His power. (I Thess. 1:5; Psa. 110:3)

2. "And obedient" = means to hear the commands of the Lord and heed them‑‑obey them.

3. Consent in your will and obey in your action and you have a promise--"Ye shall eat the good of the land" = means the land shall yield its increase and the curses will be removed‑‑there will be no invasion, thus strangers will not devour your crops (verse 7); you shall consume them yourselves; this verse could correspond to the promise the Lord gave Solomon in II Chron. 7:14; it could be stated like this, "If you  will repent and come reason with me, you will eat the good of the land."

 

V. 20

1. "But" = reveals the contrast of the outcome of obeying the Lord's commands (verse 19) and the outcome if you do not obey.

2. "Refuse" = to decline to accept; not to comply.

3. "Rebel" = to rise in opposition to lawful authority.

4. These two verbs of verse 20 are just opposite of the first two verbs in the first clause of verse 19; thus, it means if you neither consent in will, nor obey in act, heed this warning.

5. "Ye shall be devoured with the sword:"

A. "Devoured" = to be eaten; same Hebrew word translated "eat" in verse 19; implies destruction.

B. "Sword" = a cutting instrument with a destructive effect; refers to Judah's enemy nations coming in and overrunning them and making havoc of them; this happened to Judah about 170 years after this prophecy‑‑Babylon overrun the nation and carried them off in captivity, because the people refused to hear and obey the Lord's commands and rebelled. (Lev. 26:33; Jer. 6:16)

6. "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" = this is a weighty ending, indicating the certainty of fulfillment for Jehovah Himself, who cannot lie, has spoken and the result will assuredly follow.

7. These verses reveal God's merciful offer to Judah and sinners as well.  His "hand is stretched out still."  God is merciful, longsuffering, and forbearing but His mercy does run out.  Then judgment comes. (Pro. 29:1)

8. This is similar to Deut. 30:19 when Moses told the people to make a choice‑‑the right choice is necessary if we are to "eat the good of the land."

 

V. 21

1. "How is" = an expression of lamenting; it indicates that what had occurred was a matter of grief; the prophet had urged the people to reason with God and had affirmed His willingness to pardon, but it seems they would not repent; they were so wicked and perverse that there was no hope for their reformation; in verses 21‑23 he repeats the charge of their wickedness and states there must be consequences.

2. "The faithful city" = Jerusalem; it is represented here under the image of a wife‑‑once faithful to her husband; once a devoted and attached partner; that was what Jerusalem had been in former days; it was the seat of the pure worship of God; the place where His praise was celebrated and where His people came to offer sincere devotion.

2. "Become an harlot" = she has proved to be false, treacherous, and unfaithful; the unfaithfulness of the people of God is often represented under the idea of unfaithfulness to the marriage contract (Jer. 3:8‑9); as an adulterous wife, she no longer obeys or loves her husband.

3. "It was full of judgment" = Jerusalem of old was the home of justice.

4. "Righteousness lodged in it" = indicates that Jerusalem was characterized as a righteous city‑‑a city that had a conformity of life to the divine law.

5. "But now murderers" = contrasts Jerusalem with what it used to be with what it is now; "murderers" now lodge in it; refers to unjust judges‑‑men who did not regard the interests of the poor, the widow, and the orphans; these had displaced justice from the permanent inhabitants of the city; these judges had been classified by Isaiah using this strong expression--murderers; he had already said (verse 15) that their hands were full of blood.

 

V. 22

1. "Thy" = refers to Judah and the city of Jerusalem and especially to their princes or rulers as the following verses bring out; applies to anyone the Lord speaks this to.

2. "Silver" = usually refers to money but here in context it is used to denote what should have been more valuable‑‑virtuous princes.

3. "Is become dross" = the vile refuse of the smelted ore, separated from the purer metal in smelting; the expression means that the rulers had become debased and corrupt, as if pure silver had been converted wholly to dross.

4. "Wine" = was regarded as the most pure and valuable drink among the ancients; the word is used to express that which should have been most valued and esteemed among them‑‑their rulers.

5. "Mixed with water" = diluted; made weak thus, made comparatively useless; this was so with the nation's rulers and judges; they had lost the strength and purity of their integrity by intermingling those things which tended to weaken and destroy their virtue such as pride, the love of gifts, and bribes.

6. Basically, this verse means that the rulers had become wholly corrupt, which is described in the next verse.

 

V. 23

1. "Princes" = the Hebrew word means those attached to the royal family; those who by rank or office had an influence over the people.

2. "Rebellious" = obstinate opposition; refers to being rebels against God; the corruption of a nation commonly begins with the rulers.

3. "Companions of thieves" = means they overlook the doing of robbers; they do not bring them to justice; thus, they are their accomplices and are easily bribed to acquit them.

4. "Every one loveth gifts" = means every magistrate or judge can be bribed by gifts taken on the condition of their perverting justice.

5. "Followeth after rewards" = denotes the act of pursuing after in order to obtain something; they made it an object to obtain rewards by selling or betraying justice; they sell justice to the highest bidder.

6. "They judge not the fatherless" = they do not render justice to the orphans as the Lord commanded them to in verse 17; they dismiss the orphan's complaint without hearing it.

7. "Neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them" = they would not take up her cause, but rather the cause of those who were esteemed able to offer a bribe and from whom a gift might be expected if a decision was made in their favor, thus they would not take up her cause--they were bought off; this could also mean that the judges were so noted for perversion of justice that the widow does not even bring her cause before them.

 

V. 24

1. "Therefore" = in view of what the Lord has just stated about Judah's condition.

2. The name of God is repeated to attract attention, to bring awe upon the people, and to give emphasis to the solemn sentence which was about to be uttered.

A. "The Lord" = the sovereign One; the owner, controller, master, and ruler of the nation.

B. "The LORD of hosts" = this title represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven (applies to the angels which surround the throne of God) and therefore able to accomplish His threatenings.

C. "The mighty One of Israel" = He who had been their defender in the days of their peril; who had manifested His mighty power in overthrowing their enemies, and who had shown that He was able to inflict vengeance on them.

3. "Ah" = an expression of threatening.

4. "I will ease me of mine adversaries" = literally means "I will comfort me;" refers to what is said in verse 14 where God is represented as being burdened with their sins; but now He says I will be consoled or comforted by being delivered from my "enemies." (Ezek. 5:13)

5. "Adversaries" = the enemies of God's law and government among the rebellious Jews.

6. "Avenge" = to take satisfaction for an injury by punishing the injuring party; measuring out justice‑‑the princes of the people would not do this but God said I will. (Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30)

 

V. 25

1. "I" = Jehovah speaking.

2. "I will turn my hand upon thee" = this phrase refers to the act of redeeming and restoring His people as verses 26‑27 bring out; the idea is that God will stretch out His hand to punish His enemies and will turn His hand upon the remnant for protection and recovery just as He did for the nation of Israel when they were delivered out of Egypt. (Psa. 136:11‑12)

3. "And purely purge away thy dross" = the idea is that the Lord says He will make the remnant effectually and entirely pure.

4. "And take away all thy tin" = this simply means that God will take away all the impure metals mixed with thee‑‑this is the metaphor being used of the smelting process of silver; applies to the nation of Judah‑‑God will take away all the sin and dross from them‑‑refers to the remnant of any nation who repented and reasoned with the Lord as verses 16‑18 brings out.

5. These verses just reinforce the theme of this book‑‑"My hand is stretched out still."  That is good to know, for America needs to return and so do each and every one of us. What a promise!

 

V. 26

1. "I will restore thy judges as at the first" = Jehovah will bring back a time when the nation will renew its first love and be as it was in the days of Moses and Joshua ("as at first") when there was no bribery and no perversion of justice.

2. "Counsellors as at the beginning" = advisors; those occupying places of trust and responsibility will be restored as it was in the days of Moses and Joshua.

3. "Thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness" = refers to Jerusalem being restored to conformity to the Divine law.

4. "The faithful city" = faithful in keeping Jehovah's laws and maintaining the rites of His religion as at the beginning.

5. The time of this restoration may be at the time of the end of Babylonian captivity but probably the complete fulfillment of this will only occur when the Lord comes back and sets up His Kingdom on earth.

 

V. 27

1. "Zion" = used here to designate the whole Jewish people to whom the prophet had reference‑‑the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

2. "Shall be redeemed with judgment" = God's judgment shall have the effect of "delivering" a remnant, who shall build up Zion once more and dwell in it.

3. "Her converts with righteousness" = those of her children who turn to God shall be delivered through His righteousness; the prediction is that the character of the nation would be reformed‑‑to a small degree at the end of the 70 years captivity, but more so when He comes to set up His kingdom.

 

V. 28

1. "The destruction" = refers to the punishment which was about to come upon them.

2. "The transgressors" = "the sinners" = "they that forsake the LORD" = these are really not distinct classes, just different names for the ungodly.

3. "Together" = all of them will perish together.

4. "Shall be consumed" = wasted away; to vanish or disappear; denotes complete and entire extinction; the idea is that of complete and entire consumption and destruction, so that none shall be left; the expression here refers to the heavy calamities which were about to come upon the guilty nation, but it is as descriptive of the future punishment that shall come upon the wicked.

 

V. 29

1. "They shall be ashamed" = when they see the punishment that their idolatry has brought upon them, then they shall be ashamed of the folly and degradation of their worship.

2. "Of the oaks" = a strong tree; refers to the groves which in ancient times were the favorite place of idolatrous worship.

3. "Which ye have desired" = delighted in; the Jews, as all their history shows, easily relapsed into idolatry.

4. "Ye shall be confounded" = another word meaning to be ashamed.

5. "Gardens" = the places planted with trees in which idolatrous worship was practiced and "ye have chosen" = selected; picked out.

 

V. 30

1. "For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth" = they desired the oak, and they should be like it‑‑when frost comes, it is stripped of its beauty and its leaves fade and fall; and so should their beauty and privileges and happiness, as a people, fade away at the anger of God; compare this to the godly, whose leaf shall not wither. (Psa. 1:3)

2. "And as a garden that hath no water" = it would wither and become parched; nothing would flourish and all would be desolation; a striking image of the approaching desolation of the Jewish nation.

 

V. 31

1. "And the strong" = those who have been thought to be strong and whom the people relied on for protection and defense‑‑their rulers, princes, and the commanders of their armies.

2. "As tow" = the refuse of flax; refers to being weak and powerless; implies that which shall be easily and quickly kindled and rapidly consumed.

3. "The maker of it" = means works and actions; applied to the people, it means that as a spark kindles tow so the works or deeds of a wicked nation shall be the occasion or cause of their destruction.

4. "They shall both burn together, and none shall quench them" = the spark and the flame from the kindled flax mingle and make one fire, so the people and their works would be set on fire and destroyed together; they would burn so rapidly, that nothing could extinguish them.

5. The principle involved in this passage teaches us the following things:

A. That the wicked, however mighty, shall be destroyed.

B. That their works will be the cause of their ruin.

C. That the works of the wicked shall be destroyed.

D. That this destruction shall be final.

 

CHAPTER 2:

 

V. 1

1. "The word" = denotes a command, a promise, a doctrine, an oracle, a revelation, a message.

2. "Isaiah" = name means "Jehovah is salvation;" he is the "son of Amoz" = name means strong and courageous; we do not know much about him; in fact the 13 times his name is used, it is always tied to Isaiah as it is in this verse.

3. "Saw" = refers to a vision displayed before the mind's eye of the prophet; prophets were usually called "seers" (I Sam. 9:9), thus he "saw" these future events or things that would happen in regard to Judah and Jerusalem.

4. "Concerning Judah and Jerusalem" = Judah is the Southern kingdom consisting of two tribes‑‑Judah and Benjamin while "Jerusalem" was the capital of the kingdom of Judah; it was on the dividing line between the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

5. This is the commencement of a new prophecy.  It has no immediate connection with the preceding.  It was no doubt delivered at a different time with reference to a different class of events.

 

V. 2

1. Micah 4:1‑3 is almost the same as verses 2‑4 here.  Micah came on the scene a few years after Isaiah and prophesied at the same time.  Isaiah prophesied during the reign of  the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, (Isa. 1:1) while Micah prophesied during the reign of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (Micah 1:1)  Some say Isaiah got this from Micah and others say Micah got this from Isaiah.  It does not matter, for it came to both by the Holy Spirit. (II Peter 1:21)  Therefore it is in the mouth of two witnesses.  Thus it will surely come to pass. (Deut. 19:15)

2. "It shall come to pass" = it shall happen or shall occur; refers to the prophecy Isaiah is about to speak.

3. "In the last days" = an expression of time which covers the period of time between the first advent of Christ and His second advent; Heb. 1:1‑2 reveals two natural Biblical dispensations:

A. "Time past" = from Adam until Calvary.

B. "Last days" = from Calvary to the second coming of Christ which seems to include Christ's 1000 year reign upon the earth.

4. "That the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains:"

A. "Mountains" in the Scripture can mean a kingdom. (Daniel 2:35)

B. "The LORD's house" = the temple built on Mount Moriah was so called--Solomon's temple.

C. "Shall be established" = shall be fixed, rendered permanent; this can mean no other than the millennium temple fixed permanent on Mount Zion where our Lord will reign for 1000 years for Solomon's temple was not permanent.

D. "In the top of the mountains" = means it would be conspicuous or seen from afar; true religion would be made known to all people.

5. "And shall be exalted above the hills" = the Lord's kingdom will be raised higher or elevated above all the kingdoms of the world.

6. "And all nations shall flow unto it" = indicates that they would come in multitudes, like the flowing of a mighty river.

7. At no time in Jewish history has any events occurred that would be a complete fulfilment of this prophecy.

8. There are many who believe that this is the period of time when the Gentiles would be brought to the knowledge of the gospel.  Many also say that through the preaching of the apostles and by the spread of the gospel, this prophecy was to receive its full accomplishment.  I strongly disagree!  For the letter to the Laodicean church in Rev. 3:14‑19 makes it clear that the nations of the earth are not flocking to hear the truth of the gospel.  Look around.  Are people flocking to hear the truth?  Just the opposite is happening and there has never been a time, to this date, where the kingdom of the Lord has been exalted above all religions of the earth.

9. That time is coming and that will be during the Lord's millennium reign‑‑1000 year reign.  Remember, the devil will be chained during this period of time therefore there will not be any temptation to lead one into error.  That is the language of these verses.

 

V. 3

1. "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob" = again this is the language of the millennium reign of Christ; it is true that all the scattered Israelites were required to go up to Jerusalem where Solomon's temple (also called the house of the God of Jacob) was constructed, three times a year (Deut. 16:16); no doubt at that time many people went and said such as mentioned here and also sang the Psalms on the way up; "many people" is really "many peoples" referring to the nations, Gentile as well as the Jewish nation.

2. "To the house of the God of Jacob" = This could refer to Solomon's temple where God met His people in the holy of holies; that temple was destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC; then Zerubbabel was instrumental in leading the remnant who came out of captivity to rebuild the temple‑‑referred to as Zerubbabel's temple or the second temple; this temple was finished in 516 BC; in the time just before Jesus was born and while he was a young child, King Herod reconditioned Zerubbabel's temple, which some called the third temple but really it was just the second, reconditioned which took 46 years (John 2:20); this was destroyed in 70 AD; at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel the third temple will be built and probably destroyed at the end of the 70th week of Daniel when the Lord comes back on a white horse, because not only does the battle of Armageddon occur but Rev. 16:18, 20 states plainly that great destruction occurs even in Jerusalem and I believe this third temple will be destroyed (Zech. 14:4); and when the Lord sets up his kingdom the millennium temple will be built on Zion's hill and our Lord will rule and reign from that temple for 1000 years‑‑millennium; this temple seems to be described in the book of Ezekiel.

3. "He" = "his" = the LORD; Jehovah.

4. "We" = "us" = refers to the many people mentioned here and includes the saints of God who will have a glorified body.

5. "He will teach us of his ways" = He will make us acquainted with His will and with the doctrines of the true religion.

6. "And we will walk in his paths" = this is definitely language of the millennium for in Jer. 6:16 Israel said, "We will not walk in his paths."

7. "For out of Zion" = these are the words of the prophet, not of the people.

8. "Shall go forth the law" = the prophet declares that the law would go from Zion; this means Zion would be the center from which the law would be spread abroad.

9. "The law" = refers to the doctrines of true religion in general; indicates instruction and teaching.

10. "And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" = during this time and throughout eternity, the Lord will be proclaiming to all His saints what they received in their salvation package.

11. This could have a preliminary fulfillment in the church age where the gospel is being spread around the world, but will have its complete fulfillment in the Millennium. (Isa. 11:9)

 

V. 4

1. "He" = literally refers to the God of Jacob (verse 3) and it is clear that He will do it by the Messiah or under His reign.

2. "Judge" = one who's office is to decide controversies, to put an end to litigations and promote peace.

3. "Among the nations" = between the nations; Mat. 25:31‑32 speaks of the nations being gathered before God as He sets upon the throne of His glory; this is not in heaven but upon the earth right after the battle of Armageddon; since He sets upon His throne it indicates that the Millennium temple has been built at this time.

4. "And shall rebuke many people" = "people" is plural, thus this refers to peoples or nations as Micah 4:3 so translates; means He reproves the nations for their contentions and strifes; He shall show them the evil of war and promote universal peace; remember that Satan is chained at this time and will not be able to deceive the nations for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1‑3); the outcome is shown in the next phrase.

5. "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks" = they shall change the acts of war to those of peace; they shall abandon the pursuits of war for the mild and useful arts of husbandry (farming). (Psa. 46:9; Hosea 2:18-20; Zech. 9:10)

6. "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" = this is a prediction of universal peace because the Prince of Peace has come.

7. This is definitely the language of the Millennium reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

V. 5

1. "O house of Jacob" = "ye" = "us" = a common expression referring to Israel; this is a direct address of the prophet Isaiah to the Jews.

2. "Come" = "walk" = same base Hebrew word; word is often used to denote human life or conduct; used twice signifies the urgency and need of doing so.

3. "In the light of the LORD" = "light" is often used in the Scriptures for instruction or teaching; refers to truth.

4. The same word for "come" is used also in verse 3 where the nations will invite each other "in the last days" to come walk with God.  Now Isaiah invites his countrymen to walk with God now.  People from all nations will do it some day, but the Jews have the opportunity and privilege of doing it now (in Isaiah's time).  This also applies to us today. 

5. The sense of this is, "Let us obey the commandments of the Lord."

 

V. 6

1. "Therefore" = for; introduces the reasons Israel was not walking with the Lord; implied by Isaiah's invitation to come and walk in verse 5; the reasons are given in this verse and the following verses.

2. "Thou" = refers to the Lord; Isaiah's sudden change from the address to the house of Jacob to God indicates a state where the mind is full of the subject and where it expresses itself in a rapid and hurried manner.

3. "Hast forsaken" = has withdrawn thy protection, and given them over to the calamities and judgments which had come upon them.

4. "Thy people" = "the house of Jacob" = "they" = Israel.

5. "Because" = also introduces the reasons Israel was not walking with God.

6. "They be replenished from the east" = they are filled with customs from the east; indicates they had adopted a number of Syrian, Assyrian, and Ammonite superstitions such as high places, images, groves, and the burning of their children in honor of Molech‑‑all idolatry. (II Kings 15:3-4; 16:3‑4; 17:9‑12, 16‑17)

7. "And are soothsayers like the Philistines" = refers to foretelling the future from observations of the clouds and the general appearance of the sky instead of inspiration like the true prophets; the Philistines occupied the land in the south‑west part of Palestine; during the reign of Uzziah, the Israelites had been brought into closer contact with the Philistines than usual, through his conquest of several of their cities. (II Chron. 26:6)

8. "And they please themselves in the children of strangers" = "please" means to clap the hands in token of joy, to join the hands and to shake hands; seems to refer to striking hands upon a bargain; signifies they joined hands with foreigners‑‑made compacts or entered into alliances with them contrary to the law of Moses‑‑seems to indicate unlawful marriages with the women of surrounding nations; and could also refer to improper alliances with the surrounding nations concerning military and commercial activity.

9. "Children of strangers" = refers to the descendants of the foreigners' alliances. (Exo. 23:31‑32)

 

V. 7

1. "Their land also is full of silver and gold" = the result of commercial activity‑‑not evil within itself, but probably acquired by sharp dealing and led to undue luxury, sin, and neglect of true religion; this was forbidden by law. (Deut. 17:17)

2. "Neither is there any end of their treasures" = refers to wealth of all kinds; there was a vast abundance of the precious metals in Judea at this time (II Chron. 32:27); this caused the people to trust in their wealth and material things rather than trusting in the Lord; this is a major problem in America today.

3. "Their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots" = this was also forbidden in the law of Moses (Deut. 17:16); Solomon grossly violated this law (I Kings 10:26); these may have been forbidden because they were chiefly used in war and the tendency of keeping a multitude of them would produce the love of war and conquest; there is no evidence that the Jews used, in quantity, any of the chariots in any military expeditions; Judea was a mountainous country and chariots would have been of little or no use in war; it seems that, like silver and gold, they were a sign of luxury, appearance, or outward show.

 

V. 8

1. "Their land also is full of idols" = this seems to be referring to idols kept in private houses, for Uzziah and Jotham were worshipers of the true God and in their reign idolatry was not publicly practiced; it was customary with the heathen to keep in their houses small images, which they regarded as protectors and to which they paid homage.

2. "They worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made" = refers to the idols they hewed, carved, or fashioned by their own hands, to which they bowed down and showed respect to by external action.

 

V. 9

1. "And the mean man" = the Hebrew word implies the low in rank contrasted in this verse with "the great man" = the person in elevated rank of life.

2. "Boweth down" = to bow down before idols.

3. "Humbleth himself" = to be made low; refers also to bowing down to idols.

4. These expressions together mean it was a common or universal thing for all ranks of people to bow down to idols.  No rank was exempt from prevailing idolatry.

5. "Therefore" = in view of that fact "forgive them not" = the Hebrew is future; it involves threatening of the prophet, in the form of an address to God, "So great is their sin, that thou, Lord, wilt not pardon them;" the prophet then proceeds in the following verses, to denounce the certainty and severity of the judgment that was coming upon them.

 

V. 10

1. "Enter into the rock" = refers to holes or caverns in the rocks; go into them as a place of refuge and safety; the prophet warns them (Judah and Jerusalem) to flee from danger; the sense is that there were sins in their lives that they would certainly be punished for; this is a warning, no doubt, concerning the day of the Lord when the wrath of God will be poured out upon this earth immediately after the rapture‑‑when all saints will be caught up (Rev. 6:15‑16); this also (in a small degree) could have an immediate reference to the judgments of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions and captivity of both Israel and Judah.

2. "And hide thee in the dust" = refers to the dust of the earth; this could have reference to the travelers in the deserts as to how they protected themselves from the desert's heated wind or monsoons by throwing themselves down and placing their mouths close to the earth and covered their head until it passed by; both these phrases are warning for the people to flee from danger without stating exactly what the peril is; this danger will not pass them by.

3. "For the fear of the LORD" = from the face of the terror of the Lord; the punishment which the Lord will inflict will sweep over the land, producing fear and terror.

4. "And for the glory of his majesty" = refers to the honor and splendor which will attend Him when He comes forth to inflict judgment on the people.

 

V. 11

1. "The lofty looks of man" = the eyes of pride‑‑the proud eyes or looks.

2. "Shall be humbled" = this does not mean that he shall be brought to be humble or to have a humble heart, but that that on which he so much prided himself would be taken away.

3. "And the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down" = this seems to be done by the providence of God depriving them of all the things they were proud of.

4. "And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day" = He will humble the pride of men and so pass before them in His judgments, that they shall be compelled to acknowledge Him as their just Sovereign and Judge; "that day" may have reference to the captivity of Babylon but no doubt has a greater reference to "the day of the LORD" as the next verse brings out.

 

V. 12

1. "The day of the LORD" = the period of time when God pours out His wrath (trumpets, thunders, and vials of Revelation) upon this earth and unrepentant man; this is immediately after the rapture of God's saints and just before He comes in the second part of His second coming when He sets His feet upon the mount of Olives. (Zech. 14:4)

2. "The LORD of hosts" = this represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven‑‑applies to the angels which surround the throne of God; the word "hosts" means literal armies and Jehovah is represented as the ruler of the hosts of heaven.

3. "Shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty" = the Hebrew refers to everything, not just persons.

4. "And upon every one that is lifted up" = all these words refers to pride "and he shall be brought low;" to humiliate‑‑refers to everything not just persons; the prophet now refers to the "everything" in verses 13‑16 and then to man in verse 17.

 

V. 13

1. "And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up" = Lebanon was known for its large and lofty cedars; some were said to be 35 to 40 feet in circumference and very tall; their quality timber was sought after greatly to build temples of worship such as Solomon's temple in Jerusalem and the temple of Diana in Ephesus; but when the Lord "ariseth to shake terribly the earth" (verses 19 & 21) these trees will be destroyed for "the mountains were not found" (Rev. 16:20); this is definitely the language concerning the day of the Lord when He pours out His wrath upon this earth.

2. "And upon all the oaks of Bashan" = Bashan was east of the river Jordan and was noted for its fine stately oaks; they, too, will be destroyed in the day of the Lord. (Zech. 11:2)

 

V. 14

1. "And upon all the high mountains" = these were not only objects of beauty, but also places of defense and protection; it was easy for the people  to find refuge when the land was invaded, but they shall be brought down in the day of the Lord's vengeance as it will be upon the places of refuge and strength.

2. "And upon all the hills that are lifted up" = refers to the high, elevated hills‑‑they, too will be brought low at that time.

 

V. 15

1. "And upon every high tower" = towers were erected for defense and protection; they were made on the walls of the cities, for places of observation; they, too shall be destroyed in that day.

2. "And upon every fenced wall" = walls were used to fortify cities; they too shall be destroyed; the sense is, God would overturn all their strong places of refuge and defense.

 

V. 16

1. "And upon all the ships of Tarshish" = refers to ships that were built of unusual size and strength and adapted for long voyages so it could withstand the dangers of the sea; but they also will be destroyed in that day.

2. "And upon all pleasant pictures" = refers to pictures of value and beauty (think of art collections); desired to possess and gaze upon, they too will be destroyed; indicates that Divine judgment would fall upon all that was designed for mere ornament and luxury (from the previous verses it seems that these ornaments would abound); no matter, they could not buy their owners safety nor protection; for they also would be destroyed in the day of the Lord.

3. There are some who believe these verses apply to the time when Babylon overthrew Judah.  Some of these things may have been partially destroyed at that time, but this language cannot be any other than the total destruction during the day of the Lord.

 

V. 17

1. This verse is a repetition of verse 11.  See notes on verse 11; means what man prides himself with shall be taken away.

2. Human pride will be humbled by the providence of God depriving them of all the things they were proud of.

 

V. 18

1. "He" = Jehovah.

2. "The idols he shall utterly abolish" = the singular verb with the plural "idols" indicates not one idol will remain; there are some who say this was fulfilled with the Babylonian captivity; they say that there is not an instance known where the Jews worshiped idols after the captivity; I strongly disagree; there may not be an instance recorded but men's depraved nature is to give their heart's affection to something besides the Lord; they may not have done it publicly but privately they did because of a depraved heart.

3. This can be no other language than that of the millennium reign of Christ.  In that day the Lord alone will be exalted and will wholly replace idols and they will be "utterly abolished."  For in the day of the Lord just before the millennium men will gnaw their tongues with pain and will not repent. (Rev. 16:9, 11)

 

V. 19

1. Verse 12 gives the setting of this verse as "the day of the LORD of hosts" = the period when God pours out His wrath (trumpets, thunders, and vials of Revelation) upon this earth and unrepentant man; this is immediately after the rapture of God's saints and just before He comes in the second part of His second coming when He sets His feet upon the Mount of Olives.

2. "When he ariseth to shake terribly the earth" = this seems to be recorded in Revelations 6:12‑17 which is when the rapture of God's saints occur and the lost are left behind to face the wrath of God.

3. "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth" = Israel did this in times of hostile invasion (Judges 6:2; I Sam. 13:6) and man will do it when the Lord comes back in the rapture. (Rev. 6:15)

4. "They" = lost men left behind at the rapture.

5. "For" = introduces the reasons they hid:

A. "For fear of the LORD" = "fear" is a painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil or the apprehension of impending danger; fear is a passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security on the approach of evil.

B. "For the glory of his majesty" = refers to the brightness, luster, splendor, and greatness of Jehovah's appearance and dignity. (Rev. 6:16)

6. It is interesting to note that our United States has bunkers in the mountains where our government officials will hide in case of nuclear attack. Interesting!

 

V. 20

1. "In that day" = may have an application to the time of the captivity but refers to the day of the Lord which begins at the rapture; this will be a time when God will come forth to inflict punishment.

2. "A man shall cast his idols of silver and his idols of gold" = refers to all who have idols or who have been trusting in idols, will throw them away, even though they were made of costly material but now are seen for what they are‑‑worthless and unable to save them.

3. "Which they made each one for himself to worship" = refers to the manufacturers who made the idols for those who worshiped them; idol making was a trade as seen in Acts. 19:24‑27.

4. "To the moles and to the bats" = refers to throwing the idols into holes and corners, pits and caverns, where moles and bats might be expected to be the only visitors.

 

V. 21

 1. "To go into the clefts of the rocks and into the tops of the ragged rocks" = refers to throwing away his idols as he goes or so that he may go (the idols would weight them down) and hide in the places of refuge he had before sought safety from man; they fled as if they could hide from God.

2. "For" = introduces the reasons they hid:

A. "For fear of the LORD" = "fear" = a painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil or the apprehension of impending danger; fear is a passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security on the approach of evil.

B. "For the glory of his majesty" = refers to the brightness, luster, splendor, and greatness of Jehovah's appearance and dignity. (Rev. 6:16)

 

V. 22

1. "Cease ye from man" = indicates that no nation or people are to confide or trust in man nor put their reliance on any of the devices and refuges of men; implies that trust should be placed in the Lord only. (Psa. 146:3)

2. "Whose breath is in his nostrils" = refers to man who is weak and short‑lived and who has no control over his life; his power exists only while he breathes and his breath is in his nostrils.

3. "For wherein is he to be accounted of?" = literally means "for of what account is he?"; he is unable to afford the assistance which is needed; for when God shall come to judge men, what can man do, who are weak and frail and mortal?

4. Even though we should treat men with all due respect, yet we should remember that God alone can save us from the great day of wrath.  He alone can save sinners.

 

CHAPTER 3

 

V. 1

1. This chapter could be printed in tomorrow's newspaper stating the condition of America.

2. "For" = this is a continuation of the previous chapter; the same prophecy is continued and the force of the argument of the prophet will not be seen unless the chapters are read together; we must remember that the original scripture was not divided by chapters and verses.

3. "Behold" = to observe with care; used to call special attention to what the Prophet is about to say.

4. "The Lord" = the sovereign One; the owner, controller, master, and ruler of nations.

5. "The LORD of hosts" = this title represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven (applies to the angels which surround the throne of God) and therefore, is able to accomplish His threatenings.

6. "Doth take away" = is about to remove; the precise time is not shown but it is in the future.

7. "From Jerusalem and from Judah" = this is mainly to whom this prophecy was spoken to; "Judah" is the Southern Kingdom consisting of two tribes‑‑Judah and Benjamin, while "Jerusalem" was the capital of the Kingdom of Judah.

8. "The stay and the staff" = both words are from the same base Hebrew word; the meaning is that God would remove all kinds of support or every thing on which they relied.

9. "The whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water" = this may have some reference to the invasion of the land by Nebuchadnezzar which caused a famine in the land described in Lam. 4:4; also this could have been a metaphor referring to the powerful and respectable classes mentioned in the two following verses.

 

V. 2

1. "The mighty men" = the heros.

2. "And the man of war" = the warrior.

3. "The judge" = holds his place as one of the highest officers of the state.

4. "And the prophet" = the prophet holds a lower position than might have been expected on account of the writer's humility.

5. "And the prudent" = the diviner, so translated in I Sam. 6:2; the word is understood as a man who is consulted or whose opinion is asked in times of perplexity or danger.

6. "And the ancient" = the old man; such men, especially among the Hebrews, were deemed qualified to give advice; they had experience and great respect was shown them.

 

V. 3

1. "The captain of fifty" = an officer in the army; they represent the lowest grade of officers in the army.

2. "And the honourable man" = the man high in office; so called due to the aspect of dignity which a man in office would assume.

3. "And the counsellor" = advisors; those occupying places of trust and responsibility.

4. "And the cunning artificer" = skilled in architecture; refers to all craftsman and smiths; they were the most valuable of the population especially in time of war because of the construction and repair of military engines which was regarded as great importance. (II Chron. 26:15)

5. "And the eloquent orator" = one skilled in the art of public speaking; the expert enchanter; refers to a sorcerer or magician who has spirits or demons at his command.

6. All of these listed in verses 2‑3, who were the backbone of the country, would be taken away.  This occurred in 597 BC when many were taken by Babylon into captivity (II Kings 24:14) and in 586 BC when Jerusalem was completely destroyed by Babylon. (II Kings 25:1‑21)

 

V. 4

1. "I" = Jehovah.

2. "I will give children to be their princes" = not children in respect to age so much as in regard to talent for governing; this would naturally occur when the wise and great were removed.

3. "Their" = "them" = Judah and Jerusalem.

4. "And babes shall rule over them" = refers to babes in experience and knowledge; this was especially fulfilled after the 597 BC deportation when Zedekiah, the last of the kings of Judah, reigned and it was under his reign that the temple was destroyed and the throne of Judah became empty.

 

V. 5

1. "And the people shall be oppressed" = this describes the state of anarchy and confusion which existed under the reign of children and babes. (verse 4)

2. "Every one by another, and every one by his neighbor" = in turn they shall oppress and vex one another; this is a strong mode of expression, denoting that there would be a state of mutual strife and violation of rights.

3. "The child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient" = the youth failed to show respect to the age as required by law (Lev. 19:32); this is the description of a state of anarchy and disorder.

4. "The base" = the man of low rank in life.

5. "The honourable" = holding distinguished rank in society; all the forms of respect in life would be broken up; neither dignity, age, nor honor would be respected.

 

V. 6

1. "Take hold" = denotes supplication and entreaty, as when one in danger or distress clings to that which is near or which may be likely to aid him.

2. "His brother of the house of his father" = his kinsman or one of the same tribe and family; descended from the same paternal ancestors as himself.

3. "Thou hast clothing" = in ancient times wealth consisted very much in changes of garments; this expression is the same as, "You are rich, you are able to assist us."

4. "Be thou our ruler" = people will make frantic effort to restore order in the midst of chaos, and because they are hungry and without sufficient clothing, they will seize any man who has good clothes and seems to have a bit of self respect to try to make him a ruler over the ruined cities of Judah.

5. "Let this ruin be under thy hand" = this is an expression of entreaty, "Give us assistance, or defense; we commit our ruined and dilapidated affairs to thee and beg thy help."

 

V. 7

1. "He" = "I" = "my" = "me" = the brother asked to be a ruler in verse 6.

2. "In that day shall he swear" = lift up his voice with emotion.

3. "I will not be an healer" = "healer" means a binder up; he is saying, "I am not a physician; I am not sufficient to be your leader."

4. "For" = introduces the reason he was not sufficient to be their ruler.

5. "For in my house is neither bread nor clothing" = he is saying I am not rich and I do not have the means of providing for the wants of the people or to maintain the rank of ruler.

6. "Make me not a ruler of the people" = ye shall not make me a ruler; the decently clad man entirely declines to be advanced to the helm of the state.

 

V. 8

1. This is the words of the prophet and not of him who was chosen leader in verse 7.

2. "Jerusalem is ruined" = the Hebrew indicates a prophetic certainty; "ruined" means to totter or waver; her coming destruction had already been decided upon by God, even though it was not consummated until nearly 170 years later. (586 BC)

3. "Judah is fallen" = the kingdom of Judah, of which Jerusalem was the capital, was about to fall, as a tower or a tree falls to ruin; if the capital fell and was ruined, the kingdom would also fall as a matter of course.

4. "Because" = introduces the reason Judah was going to fall‑‑"their tongue and their doings are against the LORD" = they opposed (rebelled against) the Lord by word and by deed; the tongue represents their language, their manner of speaking; it was proud, haughty, rebellious, and perhaps blasphemous.

5. "To provoke" = to irritate; to offend.

6. "The eyes of his glory" = this is a Hebrew expression to denote His glorious eyes.

7. To provoke the eyes is an expression signifying simply to excite to anger or to excite the Lord to punish them.

 

V. 9

1. "The shew of their countenance doth witness against them" = the emotions of the heart will be usually expressed in the countenance; sin, long indulged in, stamps its mark upon the countenance, giving men what is called a guilty and hardened look; the expression of the face will witness against a wicked man.

2. "They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not" = by their deeds; their crimes are open and bold; there is no attempt at concealment. (Gen. 19:5)

3. "Woe" = a term used to introduce judgment.

4. "Woe unto their soul!" = "soul" refers to the person himself; they shall bring judgment upon themselves; they deserve punishment.

5. "For they have rewarded evil unto themselves" = they have brought the punishment upon themselves by their own sins; they are about to suffer the consequences of their sins (Gal. 6:7); they will "receive in themselves that recompense of their error." (Rom. 1:27)

 

V. 10

1. "The righteous" = the just; those who have been placed in a just standing before a Holy God through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, applied by the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit; these are a part of the remnant that will come through victorious.

2. "That it shall be well with him" = in the midst of these judgments the Lord assures the saved that it will be well (good) with them.

3. "For they shall eat the fruit of their doings" = they shall receive the appropriate reward of their works; as a husbandman who sows his field, cultivates his farm, and eats the fruit of his labor, so shall it be with the righteous.

 

V. 11

1. "Woe to the wicked!" = refers to judgment; true to all the wicked, but here having particular reference to the Jews whom Isaiah was addressing.

2. "It shall be ill with him" = "ill" means bad or evil; this is contrasting the "bad" with the "good" in verse 10.

3. "For the reward of his hands" = refers to his conduct; the hands are the instruments by which we accomplish any thing; thus, they are put for the whole man.

4. "Shall be given him" = shall be repaid to him; he shall be justly recompensed for his crimes.

5. It shall be well here and hereafter, with those who obey God and it shall be ill (bad) here and forever with those who disobey Him.

 

V. 12

1. "As for my people" = Isaiah now returns to the sins of the dwellers in Jerusalem.

2. "Children are their oppressors" = refers to their civil rulers who should have been protectors but instead they oppressed them by grievous taxes and burdens; implies that the character of the princes and rulers was like that of inexperienced children, unqualified for government.

3. "Oppressors" = people that impose unjust burdens on others; those that harass others with unjust laws or unreasonable severity.

4. "And women rule over them" = refers to the rulers as being weak, wavering, timid, impulsive, and passionate; this is probably not to be taken literally in Isaiah's day (today this could be taken literally but Titus 2:3-5 states plainly they are to be keepers at home and I Tim. 5:14 states they are to guide the house), but it means that the rulers were under the influence of the harem or the females of the court or that they were effeminate and destitute of vigor and manliness in counsel.

5. "O" = used as an exclamation expressing warning.

6. "They which lead thee cause thee to err" = the rulers professing to point out the right path, led the people astray‑‑into sin and error.

7. "And destroy the way of thy paths" = they literally swallow up or obliterate the correct path of the Lord making it impossible to follow the paths of obedience to God.

 

V. 13

1. "The LORD" = Jehovah.

2. "Standeth up" = means the same as "to arise;" militarily speaking it means to engage in battle.

3. "To plead" = to contend with; to inflict punishment.

4. "To judge the people" = "people" is plural in the Hebrew; refers to both Israel and Judah‑‑the Northern and Southern Kingdoms; can be an application to all the people of the world, for all are under His protection.

 

V. 14

1. "The LORD will enter into judgment"= the Lord arises with divine indignation to pass judgment because the peoples' own sins have witnessed against them.

2. "The ancients" = the old men; the counselors.

3. "The princes" = the rulers or leaders; these along with the ancients were the chief oppressors; it was by them that justice was perverted; thus, Jehovah enters especially into judgment with them.

4. "For ye have eaten up" = consumed and destroyed.

5. "The vineyard" = refers to all Israel; the princes and rulers, by their exactions (that which the people were compelled to pay‑‑illegal or exorbitant tribute, fees, taxes) and oppressions, ruined the people and destroyed the country.

6. "The spoil of the poor" = the plunder of the poor; that which the rulers took from the poor by exactions and oppressions; word "spoil" commonly means the plunder or booty which is obtained in war.

7. "Is in your houses" = their ill‑gotten gains were still in their houses.

 

V. 15

1. "What mean ye?" = "What has come over you?" = "What is your object?" = "By what right or pretense do you do this?"

2. "That ye beat my people to pieces" = to trample on them or cruelly oppress them. (Psa. 94:2‑10)

3. "And grind the faces of the poor?" = an expression denoting great oppression to the poor themselves; "faces" is synonymous with persons.

4. "Saith the Lord GOD of hosts" = this title represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven (applies to the angels which surround the throne of God), and therefore, is able to accomplish what He says.

5. Under the law, the Lord constituted Himself the champion of such persons. (Exo. 22:22‑24)

 

V. 16

1. "Moreover the LORD saith" = in the previous parts of this prophecy, the prophet had rebuked the princes, magistrates, and the people generally; now in verses 16‑24, the Lord, through His prophet, reproves with great severity the pride, luxury, and voluptuousness (addicted to pleasure or sensual gratification) of the female part of the Jewish community; many of the things reproved in these verses are said to not be representative of the Hebrew women but of the Egyptians, the Eastern nations, the barbarous communities, and savage tribes around them; these sins were adopted by the fashionable society women of Jerusalem who had given themselves over to flirtation and amorous advances, to allure other women's husbands; they had devoted themselves to the latest fads in jewelry, hair style, and dress; they were wholly taken up with self‑adornment, having no concern for God's law or their holy mission in life; but all the things for which they had sold their souls were to be stripped away from them in the coming invasions (from Assyria and Babylon); their nakedness would be uncovered when they were led away as miserable slaves by their conquerors; or they would crouch in some wretched corner filled with despair and covered with sackcloth and ashes.

2. "Because" = introduces the reasons for this rebuke.

3. "The daughters of Zion" = the female inhabitants of Jerusalem; this is not an allegory referring to the cities and towns of Judah as some commentaries state.

4. "Are haughty" = proud‑‑like the men. (Isa. 2:11)

5. "And walk with stretched forth necks" = displaying the neck with vain display; elevating or extending it as far as possible; indicates pride and haughtiness which is evidenced by a lofty demeanor.

6. "And wanton eyes" = refers to the art of alluring by a wanton or flirting glance of the eye; this could also apply to "falsely setting off their eyes with paint;" the meaning is that they attempt to entice by the motion or glance of the eye.

7. "Walking and mincing as they go" = to walk with short steps designed to allure the opposite sex.

8. "And making a tinkling with their feet" = means they adorn themselves with ankle rings that may have silver bells attached to them to make a tinkling noise to attract attention to themselves.

9. It is interesting to note that the Lord, concerning women, deals with many specifics in these verses, which means He is interested in specifics, especially in salvation.

 

V. 17

1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that the women act as verse 16 brings out.

2. "The Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion" = means to make bald, particularly to make the hair fall off by sickness; the idea is that the Lord would visit them with disease that would remove their hair which the women regarded as a great ornament and on which they prided themselves; few things would be so degrading and humiliating as being made bald; indicates that the Lord would humble and punish them by taking away that which they were so proud of.

3. "And the LORD will discover their secret parts" = the women he was speaking about were wholly taken up with self adornment, having no concern for God's law and their holy mission in life and the Lord is saying that in the day of captivity they would be stripped of their gay attire and be taken naked into captivity in a foreign land.

 

V. 18

1. "In that day" = refers to the Babylonian captivity‑‑the time He would inflict this punishment on them.

2. "The Lord will take away" = the Lord will do this by the agents that He shall choose to use as an instrument in this work; in Jer. 27:6 Nebuchadnezzar is called the Lord's servant.

3. "Bravery" = the Hebrew word means ornament, adorning, or glory; showy appearance.

4. "Of their tinkling ornaments about their feet" = refers to the chains or clasps with which they adorned their feet and ankles, which made a tinkling noise as they walked.

5. "Cauls" = a kind of net in which women inclose their hair, placed on top of their head extending to the brow.

6. "Their round tires like the moon" = refers to small ornaments in the shape of crescents or half‑moons, commonly worn on the neck.

 

V. 19

1. "The chains" = refers to that which resembles drops, as pearls, or precious stones used as ornaments for the neck or ears.

2. "The bracelets" = large ornaments for the wrists.

3. "And mufflers" = refers to a long veil; veils have always been regarded in the East as almost a necessary part of the female attire.

 

V. 20

1. "The bonnets" = fancy head dress; an embellishment.

2. "And the ornaments of the legs" = denotes a small chain, with which females, when they walk, connect their feet, in order to make their steps equal; refers to a proud and lofty gait.

3. "The headbands" = a band wore around the forehead embellished with jewels.

4. "The tablets" = refers to smelling boxes or bottles containing perfumes or fragrant odors; where they were attached or carried we know not.

5. "Earrings" = not ear rings as we know them today; probably denotes precious stones worn by the females as charms or amulets (often gems and precious stones, or plates of gold and silver on which certain magic formulas were inscribed, that were worn suspended from the neck and ears by Oriental females to ward off evil).

 

V. 21

1. "The rings" = a seal ring (for the purpose of making an imprint in wax to guarantee whatever was sealed had not been opened or unsealed) worn on the fingers.

2. "Nose jewels" = usually a gold ring, having two pearls and one ruby between, placed in the ring and that placed through the nostril; this generally prevailed in savage tribes.

 

V. 22

1. "Changeable suits of apparel" = the festival robes or the full dress suits; refers to those worn upon grand occasions and then put off and put aside; this does not refer to any particular articles of dress, but to splendid and costly articles in general.

2. "The mantles" = refers to the fullest tunic, which was worn over the common one with sleeves, which reached down to the feet; an inner and an outer tunic or petticoat were commonly worn by females of the higher class in the East; the inner tunic was a simple linen vest, but the outer was generally of a better material and richly ornamented.

3. "The wimples" = the Hebrew word means a wide broad garment, which could be thrown over the whole head and body in which the person usually slept.

4. "The crisping pins" = the Hebrew word means money‑bags or purses; these were usually made very large and were highly ornamented.

 

V. 23

1. "The glasses" = refers to looking glasses or mirrors; in ancient times these were not made of glass but of some metal which took a high polish; these were probably small and carried in their hand, thus revealing their excessive vanity; carried so that they might examine and adjust their apparel as might be necessary.

2. "And the fine linen" = the material the most delicate and fine garments were made from.

3. "The hoods" = a head dress.

4. "The vails" = veil; refers to a large veil, made so as to cover the head and shoulders, so that they may be drawn closely round the body and effectually conceal the person.

 

V. 24

1. "And it shall come to pass" = the prophet proceeds to solemnly declare the judgment or punishment that would come upon these women for their pride and vanity; in the calamities that would befall the nation, all their ornaments of pride and vain glory would be stripped off and they would exhibit the marks of calamity and grief.

2. "Instead" = in place of.

3. "Sweet smell" = spicy fragrance; perfumes used on their garments and persons.

4. "Stink" = rottenness; this is not referring to body odor due to lack of deodorant but to the offensive smell which attends the decomposition of a deceased body; it means the bodies which they so carefully adorned would die and turn to corruption.

5. "A girdle" = a band drawn round the waist; girdles were an indispensable part of an oriental dress; their garments were loose and flowing, and it became necessary to gird them up when they ran or labored.

6. "A rent" = denotes a cord; instead of the beautiful girdle with which they girded themselves, they would use a cord‑‑an emblem of poverty.

7. "Well set hair" = refers to hair that was neatly braided and adorned with such order that it looked like a work of art.

8. "Baldness" = see verse 17; being smitten with a scab that brings baldness.

9. "A stomacher" = an ornament or support to the breast worn by females.

10. "A girding of sackcloth" = refers to coarse cloth that was commonly worn in times of affliction; an emblem of grief.

11. "And burning" = could be a branding by a barbarous enemy; also could refer to a sun‑burnt countenance, indicating exposure in the long and wearisome journey of captivity over burning sands and beneath a scorching sun.

12. "Beauty" = refers to a fair and delicate complexion, cherished and nourished with care.

13. Verses 16‑24 are reproof of vanity and pride.  There are many specifics that the Lord deals with concerning the sin of the pride of women.  I Peter 3:3‑5 outlines the proper adorning of women‑‑the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.  These verses do not forbid wearing nice clothes, nor fixing one's hair neat, nor wearing jewelry. What they do forbid is doing all of this in excess just to draw attention to one's body.  That is wrong and it is full of vanity and full of pride which will come to destruction for us the same as it did for Judah. (Pro. 16:18)

 

V. 25

1. "Thy men" = thy people; referring to the inhabitants of Jerusalem generally; judgment had been pronounced upon the rulers, the women, and now upon the general population, especially the men.

2. "Shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war" = the city's strong men (warriors) shall be overcome and fall in battle; this is the first distinct mention that the coming visitation would be one of war.

 

V. 26

1. "Her gates" = refers to Jerusalem which was protected by walls which had gates for entrance into the city; the gates of the cities was where people gathered and where business was transacted.

2. "Shall lament and mourn" = to groan and bewail; instead of the business activity usually done in the gates, there was going to be lamentation on account of the slain in battle and the loss of their mighty men in war.

3. "And she" = refers to Jerusalem which is often represented as a female distinguished for beauty but here she is represented as a female sitting in a posture of grief = "being desolate shall sit upon the ground"‑‑usual posture of grief and mourning denoting great depression and humiliation. (Job 2:7‑8; Lam. 2:10)

 

CHAPTER 4:

 

V. 1

1. "In that day" = the time of the calamity referred to in the close of the previous chapter; this is a continuation of that prophecy; refers to the Babylonian captivity.

2. "Seven women" = the number seven is often used to denote a large and indefinite number; it means that the calamity would be so great that so many men would fall in battle, that many women would, contrary to their natural modesty, solicit a single man to obtain him as a husband and protector.

3. "Shall take hold" = to latch on to; denotes the earnestness of their desire.

4. "We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel" = they do not ask him to support them; they were willing to forego what the law said concerning marrying more than one wife (Exo. 21:10); they were able to support their own selves.

5. "Only let us be called by thy name" = to be regarded as thy wives; the wife then, as now or at least should be now, assumed the name of the husband.

6. "To take away our reproach" = to be treated with scorn or contempt; refers to the reproach of being unmarried and childless which was considered a misfortune and a subject of reproach (I Sam. 1:6); among the Jews, childlessness was a special reproach, because it took away all possibility of the woman being in the line of the Messiah's descent.

 

V. 2

1. "In that day" = this does not refer to the period just described but refers to the final age when the Messiah shall come to rule the earth; the rest of this chapter verifies this.

2. "The branch of the LORD" = the sprout of Jehovah.

3. "Branch" = means that which shoots up or sprouts from the root of a tree or from a decayed tree; refers to the Messiah who is said to be "a root of Jesse" (Isa. 11:1, 10) and "the root and offspring of David" (Rev. 22:16) as being the descendant of Jesse; stated that if Jesse should fall like an aged tree, yet the root would sprout up and live (Zech. 3:8; 6:12); in all the places where "Branch" is used, there can be no doubt that it is a reference to Him who was to spring up from David, as a sprout does from a decayed and fallen tree, and is therefore called a root, a branch of the royal stock; the family of David, when the Messiah was to come, would be fallen into decay and almost extinct; Joseph, the espoused husband of Mary, though of the royal family of David, was poor, and the family had lost all claims to the throne; in this state, as from a decayed root of a fallen tree, a sprout or branch was to come forth with more than the magnificence of David and succeed him on the throne; thus, the name "Branch" refers to the Messiah and is synonymous with "the son of David;" no doubt this phrase denotes that the coming of the Messiah would be a joy and honor in the days of calamity to the Jews.

4. "Be beautiful and glorious" = shall be beauty and glory; shall be that which gives to the nation its chief distinction and glory.

5. "And the fruit of the earth" = also refers to the Messiah since He was "the grain of wheat" which "fell into the ground and died and so brought forth much fruit." (John 12:24)

6. "Shall be excellent" = shall be for exaltation or honor.

7. "Comely" = means ornament; meaning He, the Messiah would be an honor to those times.

8. "For them that are escaped of Israel" = this is not talking about a remnant that escaped at the time of Babylonian captivity but to a remnant of true believers (as Paul pointed out in Rom. 11:5); only those who have been saved (born again) will be enrolled as citizens of spiritual Jerusalem; the true Jews are those who are saved. (Rom. 2:28‑29)

 

V. 3

1. "It shall come to pass" = there is coming a time; if we are not careful we attribute this to refer to the Babylonian captivity but the language of these verses are still future for us today.

2. "That he that is left in Zion and he that remaineth in Jerusalem" = refers to the time of the Messiah when He sets up His kingdom; those "left" are those "called holy" = just means to be holy because they experienced a complete work of the sanctification of the Spirit; therefore, they are left while the great mass of the nations will be cut off because they are unbelievers.

3. "Even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem" = denotes all whose names are written in His book‑‑the book of life; the Jews were accustomed to registerING the names of all the people alive, and when a death occurred, the names were stricken out; Rev. 3:5 promises all the saved (overcomers) that their name will not be blotted out of the book of life‑‑the reason for this is that they will never die but live forever.

 

V. 4

1. "When" = introduces what occurs during this time; another indication this is not during the Babylonian captivity.

2. "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion" = sin must not be merely repented of and pardoned; it must be put away; there could be no Jerusalem, in which all should be called holy, until the moral defilement (fifth) of the daughters of Zion was swept away; this can only be when the Messiah comes back.

3. "And shall have purged" = this is synonymous with the expression "to wash;" means to purify, to remove, as one removes blood from the hands by washing.

4. "Blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof" = crime, blood‑guiltiness‑‑particularly the crime of oppression, cruelty, and robbery, which the prophet had charged them in Isa. 1:15.

5. "By the spirit of judgment" = refers to calamities or punishment that would come upon a nation; also seems to include the wrath of God poured out on all left behind at the rapture.

6. "The spirit" = does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to God's influence.

7. "And by the spirit of burning" = fire is often in the Scriptures the emblem of punishment, and also of purifying; literally means "by a blast of burning;" a fiery blast shall destroy everything; may indicate that this will not be complete until II Peter 3:10 is fulfilled.

 

V. 5

1. "The LORD will create" = means Jehovah will afford or furnish such a defense mentioned here.

2. "Upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies" = upon all the habitations of His people; indicates they shall be secure and regarded as under His protection.

3. "A cloud and smoke" = both symbolize God's presence; a pillar of a cloud overshadowed the children of Israel when they were delivered out of Egypt‑‑God's presence; when God descended on Sinai, it was overshadowed with smoke‑‑God's presence. (Exo. 19:18)

4. "By day" = God's presence appeared to them as a cloud and by night as a pillar of fire (Exo. 13:21); God changes the symbols of His presence and protection so that at all times His people may see them; the meaning here is, that God gave to the Israelites a symbol of His presence and protection, so He would be the protector and defender of His people hereafter.

5. "And the shining of a flaming fire by night" = so they could see the symbol.

6. "For upon all the glory" = His people and His church; called such because it is a glorious or honorable object.

7. "A defence" = word means a covering; a protection; means that God will protect or defend His people.

 

V. 6

1. "Tabernacle" = tent; a place of protection.

2. "There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat" = in Eastern countries they dwelt chiefly in tents; refers to the fact that God would furnish them a shelter, a hiding place from the heat which was often intense in the vast plains of sand; indicates that God would furnish to them a refuge that would be like the comfort derived from a tent in the burning desert = "for a place of refuge" = a place to flee in midst of a storm, as a tent would be.

3. "And for a covert from storm and from rain" = a place of retreat or a safe place to retire, when a storm comes and the rain blows; that is our God.

4. The sinner is exposed to the burning wrath of God and to the storms of Divine vengeance that shall beat forever on the naked soul in hell.  From all this burning wrath, and from this raging tempest, the Messiah is the only refuge.  Through Him God forgives sin; and united to Him by saving faith, the soul is safe.

 

CHAPTER 5:

 

V. 1

1. This chapter stands alone, neither closely connected with what precedes nor with what follows.

2. "I" = "my" = Isaiah, the prophet.

3. "Now I will sing" = this is an indication that what follows is poetic or is adapted to be sung or chanted; this song consist of verses 1‑2.

4. "My wellbeloved" = "my beloved" = "his" = a term of endearment; denotes one greatly loved; refers to Jehovah and expresses the tender and affectionate attachment which the prophet had for His character and laws.

5. "Touching his vineyard" = refers to the Jewish people who are often represented under the image of a vineyard, planted and cultivated by God.

6. "Hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill" = refers to a fertile hill (with a peak on it), which has rich soil, a favorable situation, and a sunny aspect‑‑the most favorable place for vineyards were on the sides of hills, where they would be exposed to the sun; denotes that God had planted His people in circumstances where He had a right to expect great growth in attachment  to Him.

 

V. 2

1. "He" = Jehovah.

2. "It" = vineyard representing Israel.

3. "He fenced it" = made a wall about it for protection.

4. "And gathered out the stones thereof" = this was a necessity for the improvement of the land so that it might be easily cultivated; these stones were used to make the walls.

5. "And planted it with the choicest vine" = a superior variety that normally produces luscious, sweet red grapes.

6. "And built a tower in the midst of it" = for the sake of watching and defending it; this was probably placed so as to overlook the whole vineyard.

7. "And also made a winepress therein" = a place in which to put grapes to squeeze the juice out of the grapes; "wine" is a generic word used for the fruit of the vine, thus, the context has to determine whether it refers to fermented wine; in this case grape juice (wine) was squeezed from fresh ripe grapes.

8. "And he looked that it should bring forth grapes" = He waited in expectation as a husbandman waits patiently for the vines to grow and to bear grapes‑‑good grapes.

9. "And it brought forth wild grapes" = a worthless product; refers to poisonous, offensive berries, growing on wild vines.

10. This is a metaphor or parable referring to the Jewish people chosen by Jehovah who had bestowed great care on them in giving them His law, in defending them, and in providing for them.  Yet they had abused it all, and instead of being obedient, had become exceedingly corrupt.

 

V. 3

1. "I" = "me" = "my" = Jehovah; the prophet's song had ended and Jehovah Himself takes the word.

2. "Now" = at this time.

3. "O" = used as an exclamation expressing warning.

4. "Inhabitants of Jerusalem" = "men of Judah" = "you" = those to whom this prophecy was spoken to.

5. "Judge" = to pronounce sentence; to consider accurately for the purpose of forming an opinion = "betwixt me and my vineyard" = He intended to punish them (verses 5‑6) and He appeals to them for the justice of it; He would do to them as they would do to a vineyard that had been carefully prepared and guarded and which yet was valueless; He is calling on the people of Judah and Jerusalem to decide what should be done with His vineyard.

 

V. 4

1. "I" = Jehovah; without waiting for an answer, Jehovah ask forceful questions which make it obvious that nothing more could have been done; the implication is that the fault must be in the vineyard itself.

2. "What could have been done more?" = He had chosen them; He had given them His law; He had sent them prophets and teachers; He had defended them; He had come forth in judgment and mercy and now He appeals to them, "What could have been done more?" = implies that God had done all that He could have done‑‑all that justice and goodness required Him to do to secure the welfare of His people; this does not mean He had no physical ability to do anything else but that He had done all that could be done in the circumstances of the case.

3. "Looked" = expected "that it should bring forth grapes, (good grapes) brought it forth wild grapes?" (poisonous, offensive berries)‑‑a worthless product.

4. O how sad the longsuffering Jehovah must have been!

 

V. 5

1. "And now go to" = the Hebrew calls attention to what is said.

2. "I" = "my" = Jehovah.

3. "I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard" = basically says, "Let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard" referring to His people Judah; the address is smooth and persuasive to this point and then the style becomes abrupt with the tone, fierce.

4. "I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up" = a hedge is a fence of thorns made by allowing thorn‑bushes to grow so thick that nothing can pass through them; it means that God would withdraw His protection from the Jews and leave them exposed to be overrun and trodden down by their enemies, as a vineyard would be by wild beasts if it were not protected.

5. "And break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down" = a vineyard sometimes had a double enclosure; such protection might be necessary as some wild animals might scale the wall and yet find it impossible to pass through the thorn‑hedge; the idea is that the Jews had been protected in every way possible by Jehovah Himself, yet that protection would be withdrawn and they would be left defenseless.

 

V. 6

1. "And I will lay it waste" = indicates Jehovah would make the Jewish nation a desolation; means they would be left utterly without protection.

2. "It shall not be pruned" = "pruned" means to cut away what is unsuitable or hinders bearing fruit; negated by "not."

3. "Nor digged" = to cultivate to enable the vines to produce more and better fruit; also negated by "not."

4. "But there shall come up briers and thorns" = this is a result of the lack of caring (pruning and cultivating) for the vines; briers and thorns will choke out the vines and make it an unpleasant place.

5. "I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it" = only a sovereign God can do that; means that He would withhold His Divine influences and would abandon them to desolation.

 

V. 7

1. "For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel" = Isaiah states plainly the meaning of the parable of the vineyard‑‑it is the house of Israel belonging to "the LORD of hosts" = this title represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven (applies to the angels which surround the throne of God) and therefore, is able to accomplish what He says.

2. "And the men of Judah his pleasant plant" = the plant (choicest vine; verse 2) in which He delighted; Judah was the tribe through which the Messiah would come.

3. "And he looked for judgment" = for justice and righteousness.

4. "But behold oppression" = slaughters; shedding of blood; Isa. 1:15 states their hands were full of blood.

5. "For righteousness" = conformity of heart and life to the divine law.

6. "But behold a cry" = a clamor; tumult; disorder; the clamor which attends anarchy and covetousness, rather than the soberness and steadiness of justice; refers to a wailing cry for help from the oppressed.

 

V. 8

1. Verses 8‑23 give us the verdict of the Judge‑‑guilty on seven counts.

2. First: Guilty of selfish greed.

3. "Woe" = a term used to introduce judgment; used six times in these verses and implied the seventh time.

4. "Them" = "they" = refers to those guilty of selfish greed.

5. "That join house to house" = refers to seeking to possess many houses or perhaps to seek to live in large and magnificent palaces.

6. "That lay field to field" = they purchase one farm after another; refers to greed which leads men to continually enlarge their estates, without regard to their neighbors' convenience; they may have foreclosed mortgages or forced sale of the land to form huge estates of these greedy landowners (Micah 2:2); these disregarded the sacred right of the law of land inheritance (Lev. 25:8‑24); to prevent this greed the Lord ordained the jubilee, occurring once in 50 years, by which every man and every family should be restored to their former possession.

7. "Till there be no place" = till there be no room for others.

8. "That they may be placed alone" = that they may displace all others and take possession themselves.

9. "In the midst of the earth" = in the midst of the land; the great landlords wished to isolate themselves and not have any neighbors to trouble them.

10. Uzziah, by what it says of his possessions in II Chron. 26:10, seems to have been one of the greatest sinners in respect of the accumulation of land.

 

V. 9

1. "In mine ears said the LORD of hosts" = the Lord has heard the cry of the poor disposed people and gives a sure word to Isaiah, that the mansions of the rich will become desolate and empty because of their sins.

2. "Of a truth" = a phrase that emphasizes that the Lord will do exactly what He said.

3. "Many houses shall be desolate" = ruined; the greed of adding house to house will be punished by the death of those who have sinned.

4. "Even great and fair" = phrase means that no matter the status of the houses, they will be "without inhabitant."

 

V. 10

1. "Yea" = Hebrew word denotes certainty.

2. "Ten acres of vineyard" = among the Hebrews, an acre was what could be ploughed by one yoke of oxen in a day; a Hebrew acre is similar in size to our acre.

3. "Shall yield one bath" = "bath" was a Jewish measure for liquids containing from six to eight gallons (commentaries differ as to the exact amount); someone has stated that the average yield for ten acres was 500 baths or 4000 gallons using eight gallon measure for one bath; this is the same as saying it would produce almost nothing.

4. "And the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah" = an "homer" was a Hebrew measure for grain containing about eight bushels while an "ephah was one tenth of a "homer;" thus, ground on which was sown an homer of seed produced one tenth of what was sown on it; it would be the same as saying that it would produce almost nothing.

 

V. 11

1. Second: Guilty of pleasure seeking.

2. "Woe" = a term used to introduce judgment.

3. "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink" = they rise up to follow strong drink when nothing else would rouse them; "strong drink" refers to alcoholic liquor.

4. "That continue until night" = they drink all day.

5. "Wine" = a generic word used in the Scripture for any part of the fruit of the vine‑‑grapes, grape juice, intoxicating drink, raisins, and vinegar; the context and principle of the Bible determines what form is meant; in this context it refers to fermented wine.

6. "Inflame them" = excite them or stimulate them; the American Indians appropriately call it fire‑water.

 

V. 12

1. "Harp" = an instrument of music of the stringed kind, of a triangular figure, held upright and commonly touched with the fingers.

2. "The viol" = Josephus, a Jewish Historian, described this as a stringed instrument played with the fingers; the violin now takes the place of the old viol and a bow is used instead of the fingers.

3. "The tabret" = Websters says it is a small drum used as an accompaniment to a pipe; it is said to be most likely a tambourine.

4. "And pipe" = a wind instrument of music, consisting of a long tube of wood or metal; conveys the idea of a flute bored through, and furnished with holes.

5. "And wine" = an intoxicating beverage.

6. "Are in their feasts" = they live for and give their whole attention to the music and wine of their banquets and parties‑‑feasts.

7. "But they regard not the work of the LORD" = the reproof is that they forgot Jehovah in their entertainments; they employed music to inflame their passions and amid their songs and wine, their hearts were drawn away from God.

8. "Neither consider" = means to fix the mind on, with a view to a careful examination; negated by "neither."

9. "The operation of his hands" = the work of Jehovah's hands, particularly His dealings among the people; the Lord is round about them with mercy and judgment, but they did not perceive Him; note verse 25b‑‑"His hand is stretched out still." (Mat. 23:37)

 

V. 13

1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact of their pleasure seeking‑‑their lifestyle of sin.

2. "My people" = "their" = context refers to Judah.

3. "Are gone into captivity" = the prophet described events as passing before his eyes as a vision (Isa. 1:1); here he seems to see the people going into captivity and describes it as an event actually occurring; the Hebrew construction reveals a prophetic certainty‑‑as a thing that had already taken place; refers to the Babylonian captivity which did not occur for over 100 years.

4. "Because" = introduces the primary reason for their going into captivity.

5. "They have no knowledge" = they did not choose to retain the knowledge of God; they did not have understanding due to their leaders failure to warn them.

6. "Their honourable men are famished" = refers to the rulers or leaders being destroyed by famine‑‑their punishment for indulgence at their feasts.

7. "Their multitude dried up with thirst" = refers to the mass of the nation, the common people, being punished in this manner for their indulgence in drinking; this punishment refers particularly to a journey through an arid, desolate region, where drink could be obtained only with difficulty‑‑such was the route which the nation was compelled afterwards to take in going to Babylon.

8. This verse describes their temporal punishment as bondage, exile, and famine.

 

V. 14

1. This verse describes their eternal punishment as destruction in hell.

2. "Therefore" = in view of the facts at hand.

3. "Hell" = "it" = sheol (Hebrew); hades (Greek); the unseen world; the region of departed spirits of the lost but included the blessed dead before the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, at which time He led "captivity captive" (Eph. 4:8‑10), thus moving paradise from sheol into the third heaven (II Cor. 12:2‑4); since it means the region of the dead, many would go into captivity (verse 13) but many of the Jews would be cut off (die) by famine, thirst, and the sword; I think it also refers to those who die would have a lifestyle of sin being dealt with in this chapter and they will be delivered into the burning compartment of sheol‑‑hell.

4. "Hath enlarged herself" = Mat. 25:41 states plainly that hell was originally prepared for the devil and his angels but God has no choice but to cast individual human beings into such an awful place of punishment when they reject the light (truth) the Lord gives to every man.

5. "And opened her mouth without measure" = as if to absorb or consume them without any limit as opening of the earth does. (Num. 16:30‑32)

6. "Their" = refers to those who were guilty of selfish greed.

7. "And their glory" = refers to all that they esteemed, such as their pride and honor, shall descend together into the yawning gulf.

8. "And their multitude" = refers to the mass of people.

9. "And their pomp" = show of magnificence; refers to the noise, tumult, shouting, and display made in victory.

10. "And he that rejoiceth" = to jump for joy; refers to all the nation prided itself in and all that was a source of joy, would be destroyed.

11. "Shall descend into it" = to go downwards; this places hell in the heart of the earth‑‑beneath. (Isa. 14:9)

12. The people spent their time feasting, now sheol (hell) was waiting to feast on them.  The masses who followed the false leaders will descend with them into hell.

 

V. 15

1. This verse simply means that all ranks of men that forget God will be subdued and punished.

2. "Mean man" = worthy of little or no regard; destitute of honor; vile; destitute of morals.

3. "The mighty man" = those considered valiant and bold in their own eyes and also in the eyes of others.

4. "And the eyes of the lofty" = proud and haughty; refers to having a high opinion of himself‑‑in his own eyes.

5. "Humbled" = to be made low; descent from an elevated state to one that is low.

 

V. 16

1. "But" = reveals a contrast; while man, both high and low, are brought down and humbled (verse 15), God is exalted in man's sight.

2. "The LORD of hosts" = this title represents Jehovah as the ruler of the host of heaven (applies to the angels which surround the throne of God) and therefore, is able to accomplish what He says.

3. "Exalted" = to elevate in estimation and praise; to magnify; to extol‑‑to praise in words or eulogy.

4. "Judgment" = refers to His justice that He upholds when He judges the guilty; He shall so manifest His justice that He will be  exalted in view of the people.

5. "And God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness" = "the holy God shows himself holy by righteousness;" He is holy and will show Himself holy by demonstrating His righteousness.

6. The justice of God was to find complete vindication in their fate.

 

V. 17

1. "Then shall the lambs feed after their manner" = the utter desolation that was coming upon the nation would destroy its cities, towns, palaces, and the estates that had been seized by the rich (verse 8); it would become pasture land and the lambs would go where they pleased without being obstructed by fences.

2. "And the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat" = refers to the desolate habitation of the rich people; it would become vacant, and strangers (foreigners) would come in and possess their property.

3. "Strangers" = denotes foreigners or those who are not permanent dwellers in the land; this may refer to wandering tribes, Arabs and others.

 

V. 18

1. Third: Guilty of open unbelief in defiance of the Lord.

2. "Woe" = a term used to introduce judgment; used six times in these verses and implied the seventh time.

3. "That draw iniquity" = indicates one plunging deeper and deeper into sin.

4. "With cords" = small, slender, feeble strings like the web of a spider.

5. "Of vanity" = means falsehood or deceit; thus, "cords of vanity" may denote the schemes of evil, the plans for deceiving men or of bringing them into a snare.

6. "And sin as it were with a cart rope" = similar to the first phrase; an evil inclination is at first like drawing sin with a slender cord, then they go on to greater deeds of iniquity that urge them on and draw them with their main strength, as with a cart rope.

7. They make a strong effort to commit iniquity.

 

V. 19

1. They add one sin to another for the purpose of defying God and provoking Him to anger.  They pretend that He will not punish sin; therefore, they plunge deeply into it and defy Him to punish them.

2. "Him" = "his" = "Holy One" = Jehovah.

3. "Let him make speed" = let Him come quick to punish = them "that say."

4. "And hasten his work" = His punishment.

5. "That we may see it" = an expression of defiance; with tongue in cheek they say, "We would like to see Him undertake it."

6. "Let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!" = refers to His threatened purpose to punish; they mockingly refer to Isaiah's warning of the coming day of judgment; in a sense they dare God to bring to pass His warnings of future punishment; they are light‑hearted and indifferent to Isaiah's prophecies.

7. This is the language of all sinners.  They plunge deep into sin; They mock at the threatenings of God. They defy Him to do His utmost.  They do not believe His declarations.  This is unbelief in defiance of God.

 

V. 20

1. Fourth: Guilty of reversing the standards of morality.

2. "Woe" =  a term used to introduce judgment; used six times in these verses and implied the seventh time.

3. "Them that call evil good, and good evil" = refers to those who overlook evil deeds and evil habits by calling them by fair‑sounding names and call good evil; this action is a sign of deep moral corruption and they fully deserve to have a special "woe" pronounced against them.

4. "That put darkness for light, and light for darkness" = "darkness" in the Scripture is the emblem of ignorance, error, false doctrine, and crime while "light" denotes truth, knowledge, and piety (reverence of the Supreme Being); this is just a synonym of the first phrase.

5. "That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" = this is also a synonym of the first two phrases; "bitter" often denotes sin (Jer. 2:19) while the Psalmist calls the judgments of God "sweet." (Psa. 119:102‑103)

6. The reference of this verse is to those who confound all the distinctions of right and wrong and who prefer the wrong.

 

V. 21

1. Fifth: Guilty of intellectual pride and self sufficiency.

2. "Woe" = a term used to introduce judgment; used six times in these verses and implied the seventh time.

3. "Unto them that are wise in their own eyes" = in their own opinion or estimation; this is expressly forbidden in Pro. 26:12; when a person thinks humbly of himself, there is a chance that he may repent and be saved, but when he is wise in his own eyes, he does not see why he should change.

4. "And prudent in their own sight" = means to have understanding and wisdom at least in their own thinking; this was the characteristic of the Pharisees in Jesus' days and in Mat. 23 Jesus pronounced eight "woes" upon them; the evil of this is that it builds up pride which renders them unwilling to be instructed.

5. This is spoken to Judah but has an application to us as an individual.  If we do not take heed to these warnings, the outcome will be the lake of fire.

 

V. 22

1. Sixth: Guilty of alcoholic indulgence.

2. "Woe" = a term used to introduce judgment; used six times in these verses and implied the seventh time.

3. "Unto them that are mighty to drink wine" = at first this seems to be a repetition of the second "woe" (verse 11), but the difference is that the drinkers in this present verse do not succumb to their liquor, or remain at the banquet all day, but proceed to the business of their lives.

4. "Mighty" = seems to refer to those who prided themselves on their ability to drink much without becoming intoxicated.

5. "Wine" = a generic word used in the Scripture for any part of the fruit of the vine‑‑grapes, grape juice, intoxicating drink, raisins, and vinegar; the context and principle of the Bible determines what form is meant; in this context it refers to fermented wine.

6. "And men of strength" = refers to those who boasted that they were able to bear much strong drink.

7. "To mingle" = to mix wine with spices, dates, drugs, and etc. to make it more intoxicating.

8. "Strong drink" = alcoholic liquor.

 

V. 23

1. Seventh: = Guilty of corruption.

2. "Woe" = is not used here but implied‑‑judgment announced.

3. "Which justify the wicked" = refers to magistrates who gave unjust decisions‑‑decided his cause in the wicked's favor; declared him to be right and his adversary wrong.

4. "For reward" = for a bribe.

5. "And take away the righteousness of the righteous from him" = they do not decide the cause in favor of those who have just claims, but are determined by a bribe; Isaiah had already spoken of this in Isa. 1:23.

6. It is remarkable that this is introduced in immediate connection with their being mighty to mingle strong drink. (verse 22)  One effect of intemperance is to make a man ready to be bribed.  A man that is intemperate or that indulges in strong drink is not qualified to be a judge.

 

V. 24

1. God's sentence: Defeat and devastation by a foreign foe. (V. 24‑30)

2. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that God's judgment has been announced, He begins to describe the defeat and devastation of the nation.

3. "As the fire devoureth the stubble" = depicts the power of fire to lick up clean all that comes in its way.

4. "And the flame consumeth the chaff" = "the flame makes the dried grass fall;" refers to the appearance when a fire passes through a field of grain or grass, consuming the stalks near the ground, so that the upper portion falls down or sinks gently into the flames.

5. "So their root shall be as rottenness" = the root is the last thing to fail; when that fails, the case is desperate.

6. "And their blossom shall go up as dust" = their external glory shall crumble and waste away.

7. "Because" = introduces the reason Judah would fall as the analogy (likeness between things in effect) of stubble, chaff, root, and blossom.

8. "They have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts" = they have refused to obey it.

9. "And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" = Judah had scorned the declaration of God by the mouth of His prophets.

 

V. 25

1. "Therefore" = in view of the facts just stated.

2. "Is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people" = Jehovah is enraged or is angry; the cause of His anger was the crimes that was specified in this chapter.

3. "And he hath stretched forth his hand against them" = this phrase may be an action expressive of protection, invitation, or punishment‑‑the context is punishment; the Hebrew construction reveals prophetic certainty.

4. "And hath smitten them" = punished them.

5. "And the hills did tremble" = denotes the present anger and majesty of the Most High God; the earth is described as if conscious of the presence of God and is represented as alarmed and trembling.

6. "And their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets" = means that their dead bodies were strewed, unburied, like filth, through the streets; this could describe an earthquake but it also has reference to the time of Babylonian captivity.

7. "For all this his anger is not turned away" = these words imply that God's judgment upon Judah will not be a single stroke, but a continuous smiting, covering some considerable space of time.

8. "But his hand is stretched out still" = in context it seems to refer to punishment, but I believe that He would have forgiven them if they practiced II Chron. 7:14, for it was over 100 years before Judah went into Babylonian captivity; Hab. 3:2 asked the LORD to remember mercy in wrath; there is hope in that and we can draw strength from that.

 

V. 26

1. "And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far" = the idea here is that the nations of the earth are under His control, and that He can call whom He pleases to execute His purposes; an ensign is a standard or flag used in an army; the elevation of the standard was a signal for assembling for war; God represents Himself here as simply raising the standard, expecting that the nations would come at once.

2. "And will hiss unto them" = means He would collect them together to accomplish His purposes; "hissing" is said to have been practiced by bee‑keepers to draw their bees out of the hives in the morning and bring them home again from the fields at nightfall; God will collect an army against Judah, as such a person called his bees.

3. "From the end of the earth" = refers to the remote parts of the world; the idea is that He would call in the distant nations to destroy Judah.

4. "And behold" = used to call special attention to what the Prophet is about to say.

5. "They shall come with speed swiftly" = the reference is not so much to the speed which the Babylonians marched, as to the immediate response which they would make to God's call.

 

V. 27

1. In this verse and the following, the prophet describes the condition of the army that would be summoned to the destruction of Judah.

2. "None shall be weary" = fatigued with long marches or with hard service.

3. "Nor stumble among them" = refers to men chosen for their surefootedness.

4. "None shall slumber nor sleep" = they shall be unwearied, pursuing their purpose with ever watchful vigilance‑‑so as not to be off their guard; they cannot be taken by surprise.

5. "Neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed" = they will not relax their efforts; indicates that they should be fully, and at all times, prepared for action.

6. "Nor the latchet of their shoes be broken" = the shoes, sandals, or soles were attached to their feet by thongs or strings; refers to their being constantly prepared for marches.

 

V. 28

1. "Whose arrows are sharp" = arrows were pointed with iron and made sharp for the purpose of penetrating the shields or coats of mail which were used to protect from the enemy.

2. "And all their bows bent" = all ready for battle.

3. "Their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint" = refers to the hoofs of the horses being hard, strong, and solid as was necessary when shoeing was unknown.

4. "And their wheels like a whirlwind" = refers to the wheels of their chariots that would be swift as the wind and would raise a cloud of dust like a whirlwind.

 

V. 29

1. "Their roaring" = their battle cry or their shout as they enter into an engagement.

2. "Shall be like a lion" = common comparison in the Bible (Jer. 51:38); such a shout was expected to accomplish much by making it as frightful and terrible as possible; a shout served not only to excite their own spirits, but to produce an impression of their numbers and courage, and to send dismay into the opposite ranks.

3. "They shall roar like young lions" = descriptive of a lioness and her cubs hungry and eager for prey and they all unite in roaring for prey; the idea is that the army that would come up would be greedy of plunder--to take by open force.

4. "Yea, they shall roar" = different word from the first two words; means growl;  may express a deep growl with which the lion springs upon his prey, thus "lay hold of the prey" = to seize; idea of holding possession.

5. "And shall carry it away safe and none shall deliver it" = because of the numbers and equipment of the enemy, Judah will not be able to resist; once the enemy comes, any human aid they trust in will be nowhere to be found.

 

V. 30

1. "And in that day" = the day of Babylonian captivity.

2. "They shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea" = the noise of the Babylonian army shall be like that of a raging sea; after they have carried off their prey, they will continue to growl and threaten like a stormy sea.

3. "And if one look unto the land" = refers to looking to their homeland for safety but there would be no safety there; all would be "darkness and sorrow" = an image of distress and calamity.

4. "Behold" = to fix the attention upon what is said.

5. "And the light is darkened in the heavens thereof" = that which gave light is turned to darkness; the main idea is that there would be distress and calamity, and that there would be no light to guide them on their way.

6. Seems there is no hope, yet Jer. 6:16, which is spoken after this, says, "Ask for the old paths and walk therein and ye shall find rest for your souls."  Thus, "His hand is stretched out still," if we will apply II Chron. 7:14. That would have worked for Judah, but they said "we will not walk in them"‑‑old paths.  Therefore, they went into Babylonian captivity a little over 100 years later.

7. Lord help us as a church, a nation, and especially as an individual to repent while there is an open door, a striving Spirit, a preacher of righteousness, and a long‑suffering God.  Then we can find rest for our souls!

 

 

New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
email: edgarleepaschall@juno.com
The Persuader