Put Your Arrow On
Scripture Reference;
Wait Two Seconds,
Scripture Appears!
ALWAYS Read Bible!









Cambridge Bible Commentary, Concise;
By The Cambridge Theological Seminary™
Where The Word of God Is: "STILL...INERRANT!"



The Concise;

Cambridge Bible Commentary




Understanding Future According to "HIS WORD",
Understanding History Providentially, as "HIS-STORY!"
And Today, From Where We've Been, To Where "HE'S LEADING!"


FACT: Wikipedia is the "World's Most-Referenced Resource!"
FACT: We Recognize Wikipedia's Great Success


"CHRISTIPEDIA™ Recommendation!

Use Ameripedia, Conservapedia, Theopedia, Biblipedia, Islamipedia;
Scriptipedia, Judaeopedia, Medipedia, Christipedia, Musicipedia, etc;
We plead for support to Biblical Christian Researchers, Scholars;

"CHRISTIPEDIA™" is a “Trademark” Of NewtonStein Academy,
Of Cambridge Theological Seminary™, American Bible Church;


Web’s Largest and Most,

Comprehensive, Christian Website!


(Nearly 500,000 Pages!)
The Web

God's Eternal Guarantee!

"Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away;
But GOD'S WORDS Shall NOT Pass Away! (Matthew 5:18) "
--Jesus the Messiah, AD-33


    NewtonStein Statement On Holy Scriptures;

    The ‘Lens’ Through Which All Knowledge Is Understood;


    "IF" there exists any such thing as 'The Word of God'; [and ALL evidence proves such does exist:]

    "THEN" by inherent definition - it must be:

      Holy, Inspired, Inerrant, Intrepid, Infallible, Infinitive, Invincible, Indestructible, Inexhaustible, Inalienable, Immutable, Implacable, Impossible-to-Improve: Eternal and Indubitable NEVER FAILING and ALL CONQUERING!

      DEDUCTING from the simple fact - that God equates His Word with Himself:

        "In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, . . ." John 1:1 (and other Scriptures),
    Thus 'GOD'S WORD' can have no lesser standard than stated above;


      As true in history, archeology, geography, Earth science, medical science, nutrition, gerontology, agriculture, botany, astronomy, physics, chemistry, climatology, government, law, psychology, sociology - and every subject it touches - as in Theology, Divinity and Doctrine:

    And "IF IT BE NOT" - true in all subjects mentioned above; and And "IF IT BE NOT"

      Holy, Inspired, Inerrant, Intrepid, Infallible, Infinitive, Invincible, Indestructible, Inexhaustible, Inalienable, Immutable, Implacable, Impossible-to-Improve: Eternal and Indubitable in EVERY FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE:
    Whatever else it may be, it cannot be ‘The Incomparable Word’ of the Great Creator God!


    Do You Qualify for
    An Honorary "Doctor of Divinity" from Cambridge Theological Seminary?
    If you believe God's Word as Stated Above:
    (CLICK! For a Free Evaluation!)

    Please Visit Top Webpages


    [1] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "GREAT COMMISSION MANDATE!” Some Sobering Questions; (Very Brief!)

    [2] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – "God’s Goals” v. “Satan’s Goals” – WHO WINS? (Very Brief!)

    [3] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Greatest PLAN of Evangelization DO THE MATH, Part-1 (Very Brief!)

    [4] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" –Jesus said: “I WILL Build MY Church!”
    (But Did He Really Mean It?)

    [5] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Alarming Church News! USA! (Brief)

    [6] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Christ’s Commission: Does it Mean “Global Domination?”

    [7] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Can You Face The Truth? Part-1 (MESSAGE)

    [8] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Can You Face The Truth? Part-2 (MESSAGE)

    [9] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Jesus and Paul on the “End-of-the-World” by-NewtonStein

    [10] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - Conservative Activists: "Who's Who in Christian Conservative Politics?

    [11] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Is Our Modern Church Ignorant of Christ’s Purpose?

    [12] "RAPTURE-READY™" – Why Jesus did not come back in 2010! (Do you Know?)

    [13] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Preachers’ Greatest Sin: (Are You guilty?)

    [14] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Christ Warns: A “Five-Fold-Question!”

    [15] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – OPEN LETTER to Our Fellow Laborers

    [16] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "Are All Denominations Wrong? Mostly?

    [17] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Who Will save Christianity?

    [18] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – A Workable Plan that would-Truly Revive Christianity!

    [19] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "American Christianity Rides The Titanic!

    [20] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Founding Fathers’ Kingdom, Now Dominion!

    [21] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Great Falling Away Prophesied by Apostle Paul!

    [22] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Biblical End of World, Basic Terms and Concepts

    [23] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Christianity Is Dying In Western Civilization: WHY?

    [24] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Christian Myths! Do You Believe Them?

    [25] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Church Growth Goals Priority Page

    [26] "RAPTURE-READY™" – Modern Christianity Is A Mess!

    [27] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – The “Anti-Christ Home Page”

    [28] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – TOP-TEN Messages To Maximize Your Ministry

    [29] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Calling All Christians Unite, Christ Commands!

    [30] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Christianity Is Confusing and Getting WORSE! WHY?

    [31] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Every-Minister A Hero

    [32] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Legal Abortion: Is It Good for Christians?

    [33] " CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Southern Baptists Dying: WHY?

    [34] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Satan’s TOP-TEN Greatest-Lies! Do You Believe Any?

    [35] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" –Truth Test-3 Questions For Christians

    [36] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Evangelicals Call for Government School Exodus!

    [37] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "Hall of Faith Christian Activist Ministers, 2nd-half 20th Century "

    [38] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" –The Early Christian-Church Outlaws Homosexuality!


    [40] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Our GOD-GIVEN Rights, Guaranteed in the Bible: Called “Civil” and “Human” Rights

    [41] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "Rush Limbaugh Quotes" on Christ and Christianity!

    [42] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "TALK-RADIO REPUBLICANS, "Republican Power and Catholics!"

    [43] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "GREAT COMMISSION MANDATE!" Some Sobering Questions;

    [44] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "Hall of Faith Christian Activist Ministers, 2nd-half 20th Century "

    [45] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" –The Early Christian-Church Outlaws Homosexuality!


    [47] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" – Our GOD-GIVEN Rights, Guaranteed in the Bible: Called “Civil” and “Human” Rights

    [48] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "Rush Limbaugh Quotes" on Christ and Christianity!

    [49] “CHRISTIPEDIA™" - "TALK-RADIO REPUBLICANS, "Republican Power and Catholics!"

    [50] “AMERIPEDIA™" - George Washington Used 30-THEOLOGICAL TERMS, 3000 Times!





    Haeckel's Imaginary Drawings: 100 Years of Error

    The 40-Year Piltdown Hoax!

    The 'Nebraska Man' becomes a 'Pig's Tooth!'

    10 Scientific Frauds that Rocked the World!

    Global Warming Hoax (Hundreds of Articles!)






    Cambridge Bible Commentary, Concise;

    Jamieson, Fausset & Brown: Edited, Annotated by NewtonStein;

    NewtonStein for "STUDENTS-N-SCHOLARS"

    By The Cambridge Theological Seminary;

    Key Word - Color Coded Edition;

    Approx 100,000 Hours;
    Approx 5,500 Web-Pages;
    Approx 50,000 Scriptures;

    Under Continuous Editing;

    All Commentary from INSPIRED-INERRANT View of God's Word!

    Combining the best Bible Scholars of Yester-Year:



    Simply Move Your "ARROW" over any Scripture Reference

    Scripture will appear in TWO VERSIONS, KJV & LITERAL;

    Do You Qualify for
    An Honorary "Doctor of Divinity" from Cambridge Theological Seminary?
    If you believe God's Word as Stated Above:
    (Click for a Free Evaluation)



    Will You Take "THE BIBLE PLEDGE?"

    (Christians Sending a "Message" to ALL Elected Officials!)

    Many Thousands Already Have: And GOD is "Keeping Track!"!

    (Are you Afraid? Ashamed? Apathetic? Anti-Christ? Or Against God's Authority?)


        "The BIBLE is the WORD of GOD!


          *HOLY and UNCHANGING!

          *HIGHEST AUTHORITY on Earth!

        As I UNDERSTAND the BIBLE,

          >> I will NEVER 'GO' against, 'VOTE' against, or 'SPEAK' Against,

          >> The WORD of GOD,

          >> So Help me GOD!


        Please "CLICK" the following to Affirm your Commitment as a CHRISTIAN AMERICAN to the Word of God upon the Earth!

      This Christian American BELIEVES in the WORD OF GOD!


    Many Fine Bible Scholars seem unaware,
    Of Christ's Great Parable covering the whole Church Age,
    From His Sowing First Seed and His Great End-Time Harvest of Souls!
    To Final Judgment of the Unsaved and their Damnation;
    To Christ’s Presence and Eternal Kingdom!

    (See Greatest Parable on End of Times!)
    Christ’s Greatest Parable on End of Times: Brief Overview





    By Webster-NewtonStein;

    With Cambridge Theological Seminary™, AD-2000;

    Translation Axiom: God's Word! "INSPIRED-INERRANT!"




    (See Cambridge Concise Bible COMMENTARY)

    (See Cambridge Concise Bible CONCORDANCE)

    (See Cambridge Concise Bible DICTIONARY)

    (See Cambridge Comprehensive Bible DICTIONARY)

    (See Cambridge Comprehensive Bible ENCYCLOPEDIA)

    (See Cambridge Comprehensive Bible COMMENTARY)



    Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise,
    Published AD-1706, Amplified & Edited 2000;



    Deuter-canonical Books are included as references, and less often, the Pseudoe-pigraphia (extra-biblical New Testament Era writings - such as the Gospel of Barnabas - used for over 300 years by the early Church.

    Though these are not Inerrant Scripture, they are very important as geographical and historical references, and helping to understand how particular Hebrew and Greek words were used.

    Since the Deuter-canonical Books were part of the Jewish Bible that Jesus and Paul used, they have great value for understanding the era between the Covenants, and all things Jewish.

    Many will be surprised to know they were in the Geneva Bible of Calvin and Knox - and the Puritan Pilgrims - and included in the King James for over 275 years . . .

    . . . and left out in later versions - ONLY to make the Bible MORE PROFITABLE, by selling at the usual price, while being much smaller to print!

    No wonder Paul said the "love of money is the root of all evil!"

    Further know, that that these books are rejected by most Bible Preachers today, BECAUSE the Jews of Jesus' Day rejected them for the Jewish Canon at the Council of Jamnia after the fall of Jerusalem.

    This seems reasonable enough, and though these Scribes and Lawyers SHOULD have had superior knowledge in ALL THINGS JEWISH . . . in their Jewish wisdom, THEY ALSO REJECTED JESUS AS THE MESSIAH!!!

    TheDeuter-canonical Books are very "Kingdom of God" and "Messianic" Oriented, thus the Jews sis NOT want any writings confirming that Jesus WAS the Jewish Messiah.

    The wise "Students-N-Scholars" will know them, as they provide light on New Testament Scripture that are NOT understood otherwise;

    Quick Example:

    In Luke 3:36 YOUR Bible reads as follows:

      "Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem (Shem), which was the son of Noe (Noah), which was the son of Lamech;"

    This ancestor of Jesus named "Cainan, son of Arphaxad": where is he in YOUR Bible/ (Check Genesis 11:13, and other genealogies).

    This dilemma - which the WORLD calls a great contradiction in the linage of Jesus as the Christ - can ONLY be solved by the Bible Jesus used, which included the Deuter-canonical Books.

    Do you suppose Jesus knew more about the "Correct Books" of the Bible than modern Denomination?

    [1] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, HOMEPAGE and INDEX

    [2] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, INTRO and PREFACE

    [3] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, GENESIS - DEUTERONOMY

    [4] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, JOSHUA To ESTHER

    [5] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, JOB To SONG of SOLOMON

    [6] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, THE PSALMS

    [7] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, ISAIAH To JEREMIAH

    [8] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, EZEKIEL To MALACHI

    [9] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, MATTHEW To ACTS

    [10] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, ROMANS To THE-REVELATION

    [11] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, The Whole OLD TESTAMENT

    [12] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, The Whole NEW TESTAMENT


    Cambridge Bible Commentary, Concise;

    Jamieson, Fausset & Brown: Edited, Annotated by NewtonStein;

    "ISAIAH 1"


    All Commentary from INSPIRED-INERRANT View of God's Word!

    Commentary by A. R. Faussett

      CHAPTER 1



      Isaiah, son of Amoz (not Amos); contemporary of Jonah, Amos, Hosea, in Israel, but youngerthan they; and of Micah, in Judah. His call to a higher degree of the prophetic office (Isa 6:1-13)is assigned to the last year of Uzziah, that is, 754 B.C. The first through fifth chapters belong to theclosing years of that reign; not, as some think, to Jotham's reign: in the reign of the latter he seemsto have exercised his office only orally, and not to have left any record of his prophecies becausethey were not intended for all ages. The first through fifth and sixth chapters are all that was designedfor the Church universal of the prophecies of the first twenty years of his office. New historicalepochs, such as occurred in the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah, when the affairs of Israel becameinterwoven with those of the Asiatic empires, are marked by prophetic writings. The prophets hadnow to interpret the judgments of the Lord, so as to make the people conscious of His punitive1045JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjustice, as also of His mercy. Isa 7:1-10:4 belong to the reign of Ahaz. The thirty-sixth throughthirty-ninth chapters are historical, reaching to the fifteenth year of Hezekiah; probably the tenththrough twelfth chapters and all from the thirteenth through twenty-sixth chapters, inclusive, belongto the same reign; the historical section being appended to facilitate the right understanding of theseprophecies; thus we have Isaiah's office extending from about 760 to 713 B.C., forty-seven years.Tradition (Talmud) represents him as having been sawn asunder by Manasseh with a wooden saw,for having said that he had seen Jehovah (Ex 33:20; 2Ki 21:16; Heb 11:37). 2Ch 32:32 seems toimply that Isaiah survived Hezekiah; but "first and last" is not added, as in 2Ch 26:22, which makesit possible that his history of Hezekiah was only carried up to a certain point. The second part, thefortieth through sixty-sixth chapters, containing complaints of gross idolatry, needs not to berestricted to Manasseh's reign, but is applicable to previous reigns. At the accession of Manasseh,Isaiah would be eighty-four; and if he prophesied for eight years afterwards, he must have enduredmartyrdom at ninety-two; so Hosea prophesied for sixty years. And Eastern tradition reports thathe lived to one hundred and twenty. The conclusive argument against the tradition is that, accordingto the inscription, all Isaiah's prophecies are included in the time from Uzziah to Hezekiah; and theinternal evidence accords with this.His Wife is called the prophetess [Isa 8:3], that is, endowed, as Miriam, with a prophetic gift.His Children were considered by him as not belonging merely to himself; in their names,Shearjashub, "the remnant shall return" [Isa 7:3, Margin], and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, "speedingto the spoil, he hasteth to the prey" [Isa 8:1, Margin], the two chief points of his prophecies areintimated to the people, the judgments of the Lord on the people and the world, and yet His mercyto the elect.His Garment of sackcloth (Isa 20:2), too, was a silent preaching by fact; he appears as theembodiment of that repentance which he taught.His Historical Works.—History, as written by the prophets, is retroverted prophecy. As the pastand future alike proceed from the essence of God, an inspired insight into the past implies an insightinto the future, and vice versa. Hence most of the Old Testament histories are written by prophetsand are classed with their writings; the Chronicles being not so classed, cannot have been writtenby them, but are taken from historical monographs of theirs; for example, Isaiah's life of Uzziah,2Ch 26:22; also of Hezekiah, 2Ch 32:32; of these latter all that was important for all ages has beenpreserved to us, while the rest, which was local and temporary, has been lost.The Inscription (Isa 1:1) applies to the whole book and implies that Isaiah is the author of thesecond part (the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters), as well as of the first. Nor do the words,"concerning Judah and Jerusalem" [Isa 1:1], oppose the idea that the inscription applies to thewhole; for whatever he says against other nations, he says on account of their relation to Judah. Sothe inscription of Amos, "concerning Israel" [Am 1:1], though several prophecies follow againstforeign nations. Ewald maintains that the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters, though spurious, weresubjoined to the previous portion, in order to preserve the former. But it is untrue that the firstportion is unconnected with those chapters. The former ends with the Babylonian exile (Isa 39:6),the latter begins with the coming redemption from it. The portion, the fortieth through forty-sixthchapters, has no heading of its own, a proof that it is closely connected with what precedes, andfalls under the general heading in Isa 1:1. Josephus (The Antiquities of the Jews, 11. 1, sec. 1, 2) saysthat Cyrus was induced by the prophecies of Isaiah (Isa 44:28; 45:1, 13) to aid the Jews in returningand rebuilding the temple Ezr 1:1-11 confirms this; Cyrus in his edict there plainly refers to the1046JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprophecies in the second portion, which assign the kingdoms to him from Jehovah, and the dutyof rebuilding the temple. Probably he took from them his historical name Cyrus (Coresh). Moreover,subsequent prophets imitate this second portion, which Ewald assigns to later times; for example,compare Jer 50:1-51:64 with Isaiah's predictions against Babylon [Is 13:1-14:23]. "The Holy Oneof Israel," occurring but three times elsewhere in the Old Testament [2Ki 19:22; Ps 78:41; 89:18;Jer 50:29; 51:5], is a favorite expression in the second, as in the first portion of Isaiah: it expressesGod's covenant faithfulness in fulfilling the promises therein: Jeremiah borrows the expressionfrom him. Also Ecclesiasticus 48:22-25 ("comforted"), quotes Isa 40:1 as Isaiah's. Lu 4:17 quotesIsa 61:1, 2 as Isaiah's, and as read as such by Jesus Christ in the synagogue.The Definiteness of the prophecies is striking: As in the second portion of isaiah, so in Mic 4:8-10,the Babylonian exile, and the deliverance from it, are foretold a hundred fifty years before anyhostilities had arisen between Babylon and Judah. On the other hand, all the prophets who foretellthe Assyrian invasion coincide in stating, that Judah should be delivered from it, not by Egyptianaid, but directly by the Lord. Again Jeremiah, in the height of the Chaldean prosperity, foretold itsconquest by the Medes, who should enter Babylon through the dry bed of the Euphrates on a nightof general revelry. No human calculation could have discovered these facts. Eichorn terms theseprophecies "veiled historical descriptions," recognizing in spite of himself that they are more thangeneral poetical fancies. The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah was certainly written ages before theMessiah, yet it minutely portrays His sufferings: these cannot be Jewish inventions, for the Jewslooked for a reigning, not a suffering, Messiah.Rationalists are so far right that The Prophecies Are on a General Basis whereby they are distinguishedfrom soothsaying. They rest on the essential idea of God. The prophets, penetrated by this innerknowledge of His character, became conscious of the eternal laws by which the world is governed:that sin is man's ruin, and must be followed by judgment, but that God's covenant mercy to Hiselect is unchangeable. Without prophetism, the elect remnant would have decreased, and evenGod's judgments would have missed their end, by not being recognized as such: they would havebeen unmeaning, isolated facts. Babylon was in Isaiah's days under Assyria; it had tried a revoltunsuccessfully: but the elements of its subsequent success and greatness were then existing. TheHoly Ghost enlightened his natural powers to discern this its rise; and his spiritual faculties, toforesee its fall, the sure consequence, in God's eternal law, of the pride which pagan successgenerates—and also Judah's restoration, as the covenant-people, with whom God, according to Hisessential character, would not be wroth for ever. True conversion is the prophet's grand remedyagainst all evils: in this alone consists his politics. Rebuke, threatening, and promise, regularlysucceed one another. The idea at the basis of all is in Isa 26:7-9; Le 10:3; Am 3:2.The Use of the Present and Preterite in prophecy is no proof that the author is later than Isaiah. Forseers view the future as present, and indicate what is ideally past, not really past; seeing things inthe light of God, who "calls the things that are not as though they were." Moreover, as in lookingfrom a height on a landscape, hills seem close together which are really wide apart, so, in eventsforetold, the order, succession, and grouping are presented, but the intervals of time are overlooked.The time, however, is sometimes marked (Jer 25:12; Da 9:26). Thus the deliverance from Babylon,and that effected by Messiah, are in rapid transition grouped together by THE Law of Prophetic Suggestion;yet no prophet so confounds the two as to make Messiah the leader of Israel from Babylon. To theprophet there was probably no double sense; but to his spiritual eye the two events, though distinct,lay so near, and were so analogous, that he could not separate them in description without1047JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonunfaithfulness to the picture presented before him. The more remote and antitypical event, however,namely, Messiah's coming, is that to which he always hastens, and which he describes with farmore minuteness than he does the nearer type; for example, Cyrus (compare Isa 45:1 with Isa53:1-12). In some cases he takes his stand in the midst of events between, for example, thehumiliation of Jesus Christ, which he views as past, and His glorification, as yet to come, using thefuture tense as to the latter (compare Isa 53:4-9 with 53:10-12). Marks of the time of events aregiven sparingly in the prophets: yet, as to Messiah, definitely enough to create the general expectationof Him at the time that He was in fact born.The Chaldæisms alleged against the genuineness of the second portion of Isaiah, are found morein the first and undoubted portion. They occur in all the Old Testament, especially in the poeticalparts, which prefer unusual expressions, and are due to the fact that the patriarchs were surroundedby Chaldee-speaking people; and in Isaiah's time a few Chaldee words had crept in from abroad.His Symbols are few and simple, and his poetical images correct; in the prophets, during andafter the exile, the reverse holds good; Haggai and Malachi are not exceptions; for, though void ofbold images, their style, unlike Isaiah's, rises little above prose: a clear proof that our Isaiah waslong before the exile.Of Visions, strictly so called, he has but one, that in the sixth chapter; even it is more simple thanthose in later prophets. But he often gives Signs, that is, a present fact as pledge of the more distantfuture; God condescending to the feebleness of man (Isa 7:14; 37:30; 38:7).The Varieties in His Style do not prove spuriousness, but that he varied his style with his subject.The second portion is not so much addressed to his contemporaries, as to the future people of theLord, the elect remnant, purified by the previous judgments. Hence its tenderness of style, andfrequent repetitions (Isa 40:1): for comforting exhortation uses many words; so also the manyepithets added to the name of God, intended as stays whereon faith may rest for comfort, so as notto despair. In both portions alike there are peculiarities characteristic of Isaiah; for example, "to becalled" equivalent to to be: the repetition of the same words, instead of synonyms, in the parallelmembers of verses; the interspersing of his prophecies with hymns: "the remnant of olive trees,"&c., for the remnant of people who have escaped God's judgments. Also compare Isa 65:25 withIsa 11:6.The Chronological Arrangement favors the opinion that Isaiah himself collected his prophecies intothe volume; not Hezekiah's men, as the Talmud guesses from Pr 25:1. All the portions, the datesof which can be ascertained, stand in the right place, except a few instances, where prophecies ofsimilar contents are placed together: with the termination of the Assyrian invasion (the thirty-sixththrough thirty-ninth chapters) terminated the public life of Isaiah. The second part is his propheticlegacy to the small band of the faithful, analogous to the last speeches of Moses and of Jesus Christto His chosen disciples.The Expectation of Messiah is so strong in Isaiah, that Jerome To Paulinus calls his book not aprophecy, but the gospel: "He is not so much a prophet as an evangelist." Messiah was alreadyshadowed forth in Ge 49:10, as the Shiloh, or tranquillizer; also in Psalms 2, 45, 72, 110. Isaiahbrings it out more definitely; and, whereas they dwelt on His kingly office, Isaiah develops mostHis priestly and prophetic office; the hundred tenth Psalm also had set forth His priesthood, butHis kingly rather than, as Isaiah, His suffering, priesthood. The latter is especially dwelt on in thesecond part, addressed to the faithful elect; whereas the first part, addressed to the whole people,dwells on Messiah's glory, the antidote to the fears which then filled the people, and the assurance1048JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat the kingdom of God, then represented by Judah, would not be overwhelmed by the surroundingnations.His Style (Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament,) is simple and sublime; in imagery,intermediate between the poverty of Jeremiah and the exuberance of Ezekiel. He shows his commandof it in varying it to suit his subject.The Form is mostly that of Hebrew poetical parallelism, with, however, a freedom unshackledby undue restrictions.Judah, the less apostate people, rather than Israel, was the subject of his prophecies: his residencewas mostly at Jerusalem. On his praises, see Ecclesiasticus 48:22-25. Christ and the apostles quoteno prophet so frequently.CHAPTER 1Isa 1:1-31.1. The General Title or Program applying to the entire book: this discountenances the Talmud tradition,that he was sawn asunder by Manasseh.Isaiah—equivalent to "The Lord shall save"; significant of the subject of his prophecies. On"vision," see 1Sa 9:9; Nu 12:6; and see my Introduction.Judah and Jerusalem—Other nations also are the subjects of his prophecies; but only in theirrelation to the Jews (Isa 13:1-23:18); so also the ten tribes of Israel are introduced only in the samerelation (Isa 7:1-9:21). Jerusalem is particularly specified, being the site of the temple, and thecenter of the theocracy, and the future throne of Messiah (Ps 48:2, 3, 9; Jer 3:17). Jesus Christ isthe "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Re 5:5).Uzziah—called also Azariah (2Ki 14:21; 2Ch 26:1, 17, 20). The Old Testament propheciesspiritually interpret the histories, as the New Testament Epistles interpret the Gospels and Acts.Study them together, to see their spiritual relations. Isaiah prophesied for only a few years beforeUzziah's death; but his prophecies of that period (Isa 1:1-6:13) apply to Jotham's reign also, inwhich he probably wrote none; for Isa 7:1-25 enters immediately on Ahaz' reign, after Uzziah inIsa 6:1-13; the prophecies under Hezekiah follow next.2. The very words of Moses (De 32:1); this implies that the law was the charter and basis ofall prophecy (Isa 8:20).Lord—Jehovah; in Hebrew, "the self-existing and promise-fulfilling, unchangeable One." TheJews never pronounced this holy name, but substituted Adonai. The English Version, Lord in capitals,marks the Hebrew "Jehovah," though Lord is rather equivalent to "Adonai" than "Jehovah."children—(Ex 4:22).rebelled—as sons (De 21:18) and as subjects, God being king in the theocracy (Isa 63:10)."Brought up," literally, "elevated," namely, to peculiar privileges (Jer 2:6-8; Ro 9:4, 5).3. (Jer 8:7).crib—the stall where it is fed (Pr 14:4). Spiritually the word and ordinances.Israel—The whole nation, Judah as well as Israel, in the restricted sense. God regards Hiscovenant-people in their designed unity.not know—namely, his Owner, as the parallelism requires; that is, not recognize Him as such(Ex 19:5, equivalent to "my people," Joh 1:10, 11).1049JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonconsider—attend to his Master (Isa 41:8), notwithstanding the spiritual food which He provides(answering to "crib" in the parallel clause).4. people—the peculiar designation of God's elect nation (Ho 1:10), that they should be "ladenwith iniquity" is therefore the more monstrous. Sin is a load (Ps 38:4; Mt 11:28).seed—another appellation of God's elect (Ge 12:7; Jer 2:21), designed to be a "holy seed" (Isa6:13), but, awful to say, "evildoers!"children—by adoption (Ho 11:1), yet "evildoers"; not only so, but "corrupters" of others (Ge6:12); the climax. So "nation—people—seed children."provoked—literally, "despised," namely, so as to provoke (Pr 1:30, 31).Holy One of Israel—the peculiar heinousness of their sin, that it was against their God (Am3:2).gone … backward—literally, "estranged" (Ps 58:3).5. Why—rather, as Vulgate, "On what part." Image from a body covered all over with marksof blows (Ps 38:3). There is no part in which you have not been smitten.head … sick, &c.—not referring, as it is commonly quoted, to their sins, but to the universalityof their punishment. However, sin, the moral disease of the head or intellect, and the heart, isdoubtless made its own punishment (Pr 1:31; Jer 2:19; Ho 8:11). "Sick," literally, "is in a state ofsickness" [Gesenius]; "has passed into sickness" [Maurer].6. From the lowest to the highest of the people; "the ancient and honorable, the head, the prophetthat teacheth lies, the tail." See Isa 9:13-16. He first states their wretched condition, obvious to all(Isa 1:6-9); and then, not previously, their irreligious state, the cause of it.wounds—judicially inflicted (Ho 5:13).mollified with ointment—The art of medicine in the East consists chiefly in external applications(Lu 10:34; Jas 5:14).7. Judah had not in Uzziah's reign recovered from the ravages of the Syrians in Joash's reign(2Ch 24:24), and of Israel in Amaziah's reign (2Ch 25:13, 23, &c.). Compare Isaiah's contemporary(Am 4:6-11), where, as here (Isa 1:9, 10), Israel is compared to "Sodom and Gomorrah," becauseof the judgments on it by "fire."in your presence—before your eyes: without your being able to prevent them.desolate, &c.—literally, "there is desolation, such as one might look for from foreign" invaders.8. daughter of Zion—the city (Ps 9:14), Jerusalem and its inhabitants (2Ki 19:21): "daughter"(feminine, singular being used as a neuter collective noun), equivalent to sons (Isa 12:6, Margin)[Maurer]. Metropolis or "mother-city" is the corresponding term. The idea of youthful beauty isincluded in "daughter."left—as a remnant escaping the general destruction.cottage—a hut, made to give temporary shelter to the caretaker of the vineyard.lodge—not permanent.besieged—rather, as "left," and Isa 1:9 require, preserved, namely, from the desolation all round[Maurer].9. Jehovah of Sabaoth, that is, God of the angelic and starry hosts (Ps 59:5; 147:4; 148:2). Thelatter were objects of idolatry, called hence Sabaism (2Ki 17:16). God is above even them (1Ch16:26). "The groves" were symbols of these starry hosts; it was their worship of Sabaoth insteadof the Lord of Sabaoth, which had caused the present desolation (2Ch 24:18). It needed no less a1050JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpower than His, to preserve even a "remnant." Condescending grace for the elect's sake, since Hehas no need of us, seeing that He has countless hosts to serve Him.10. Sodom—spiritually (Ge 19:24; Jer 23:14; Eze 16:46; Re 11:8).11. God does not here absolutely disparage sacrifice, which is as old and universal as sin (Ge3:21; 4:4), and sin is almost as old as the world; but sacrifice, unaccompanied with obedience ofheart and life (1Sa 15:22; Ps 50:9-13; 51:16-19; Ho 6:6). Positive precepts are only means; moralobedience is the end. A foreshadowing of the gospel, when the One real sacrifice was to supersedeall the shadowy ones, and "bring in everlasting righteousness" (Ps 40:6, 7; Da 9:24-27; Heb 10:1-14).full—to satiety; weary ofburnt offerings—burnt whole, except the blood, which was sprinkled about the altar.fat—not to be eaten by man, but burnt on the altar (Le 3:4, 5, 11, 17).12. appear before me—in the temple where the Shekinah, resting on the ark, was the symbolof God's presence (Ex 23:15; Ps 42:2).who hath required this—as if you were doing God a service by such hypocritical offerings(Job 35:7). God did require it (Ex 23:17), but not in this spirit (Mic 6:6, 7).courts—areas, in which the worshippers were. None but priests entered the temple itself.13. oblations—unbloody; "meat (old English sense, not flesh) offerings," that is, of flour, fruits,oil, &c. (Le 2:1-13). Hebrew, mincha.incense—put upon the sacrifices, and burnt on the altar of incense. Type of prayer (Ps 141:2;Re 8:3).new moons—observed as festivals (Nu 10:10; 28:11, 14) with sacrifices and blowing of silvertrumpets.sabbaths—both the seventh day and the beginning and closing days of the great feasts (Le23:24-39).away with—bear, Maurer translates, "I cannot bear iniquity and the solemn meeting," that is,the meeting associated with iniquity—literally, the closing days of the feasts; so the great days (Le23:36; Joh 7:37).14. appointed—the sabbath, passover, pentecost, day of atonement, and feast of tabernacles[Hengstenberg]; they alone were fixed to certain times of the year.weary—(Isa 43:24).15. (Ps 66:18; Pr 28:9; La 3:43, 44).spread … hands—in prayer (1Ki 8:22). Hebrew, "bloods," for all heinous sins, persecutionof God's servants especially (Mt 23:35). It was the vocation of the prophets to dispel the delusion,so contrary to the law itself (De 10:16), that outward ritualism would satisfy God.16. God saith to the sinner, "Wash you," &c., that he, finding his inability to "make" himself"clean," may cry to God, Wash me, cleanse me (Ps 51:2, 7, 10).before mine eyes—not mere outward reformation before man's eyes, who cannot, as God, seeinto the heart (Jer 32:19).17. seek judgment—justice, as magistrates, instead of seeking bribes (Jer 22:3, 16).judge—vindicate (Ps 68:5; Jas 1:27).18. God deigns to argue the case with us, that all may see the just, nay, loving principle of Hisdealings with men (Isa 43:26).scarlet—the color of Jesus Christ's robe when bearing our "sins" (Mt 27:28). So Rahab's thread(Jos 2:18; compare Le 14:4). The rabbins say that when the lot used to be taken, a scarlet fillet was1051JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbound on the scapegoat's head, and after the high priest had confessed his and the people's sinsover it, the fillet became white: the miracle ceased, according to them, forty years before thedestruction of Jerusalem, that is, exactly when Jesus Christ was crucified; a remarkable admissionof adversaries. Hebrew for "scarlet" radically means double-dyed; so the deep-fixed permanencyof sin in the heart, which no mere tears can wash away.snow—(Ps 51:7). Repentance is presupposed, before sin can be made white as snow (Isa 1:19,20); it too is God's gift (Jer 31:18, Lam 5:21, Acts 5:31).red—refers to "blood" (Isa 1:15).as wool—restored to its original undyed whiteness. This verse shows that the old fathers didnot look only for transitory promises (Article VII, Book of Common Prayer). For sins of ignorance,and such like, alone had trespass offerings appointed for them; greater guilt therefore needed agreater sacrifice, for, "without shedding of blood there was no remission"; but none such wasappointed, and yet forgiveness was promised and expected; therefore spiritual Jews must havelooked for the One Mediator of both Old Testament and New Testament, though dimly understood.19, 20. Temporal blessings in "the land of their possession" were prominent in the Old Testamentpromises, as suited to the childhood of the Church (Ex 3:17). New Testament spiritual promisesderive their imagery from the former (Mt 5:5).20. Lord hath spoken it—Isaiah's prophecies rest on the law (Le 26:33). God alters not Hisword (Numbers 23. 19).21. faithful—as a wife (Isa 54:5; 62:5; Ho 2:19, 20).harlot—(Eze 16:28-35).righteousness lodged—(2Pe 3:13).murderers—murderous oppressors, as the antithesis requires (see on Isa 1:15; 1Jo 3:15).22. Thy princes and people are degenerate in "solid worth," equivalent to "silver" (Jer 6:28, 30;Eze 22:18, 19), and in their use of the living Word, equivalent to "wine" (So 7:9).mixed—literally, "circumcised." So the Arabic, "to murder" wine, equivalent to dilute it.23. companions of thieves—by connivance (Pr 29:24).gifts—(Eze 22:12). A nation's corruption begins with its rulers.24. Lord … Lord—Adonai, Jehovah.mighty One of Israel—mighty to take vengeance, as before, to save.Ah—indignation.ease me—My long tried patience will find relief in at last punishing the guilty (Eze 5:13). God'slanguage condescends to human conceptions.25. turn … hand—not in wrath, but in grace (Zec 13:7), "upon thee," as Isa 1:26, 27 show;contrasted with the enemies, of whom He will avenge Himself (Isa 1:24).purely—literally, "as alkali purifies."thy dross—not thy sins, but the sinful persons (Jer 6:29); "enemies" (Isa 1:24); degenerateprinces (see on Isa 1:22), intermingled with the elect "remnant" of grace.tin—Hebrew, bedil, here the alloy of lead, tin, &c., separated by smelting from the silver. Thepious Bishop Bedell took his motto from this.26. As the degeneracy had shown itself most in the magistrates (Isa 1:17-23), so, at the"restoration," these shall be such as the theocracy "at the first" had contemplated, namely, after theBabylonish restoration in part and typically, but fully and antitypically under Messiah (Isa 32:1;52:8; Jer 33:7; Mt 19:28).1052JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfaithful—no longer "an harlot."27. redeemed—temporarily, civilly, and morally; type of the spiritual redemption by the priceof Jesus Christ's blood (1Pe 1:18, 19), the foundation of "judgment" and "righteousness," and soof pardon. The judgment and righteousness are God's first (Isa 42:21; Ro 3:26); so they becomeman's when "converted" (Ro 8:3, 4); typified in the display of God's "justice," then exhibited indelivering His covenant-people, whereby justice or "righteousness" was produced in them.converts—so Maurer. But Margin, "they that return of her," namely the remnant that return fromcaptivity. However, as Isaiah had not yet expressly foretold the Babylonian captivity, the EnglishVersion is better.28. destruction—literally, "breaking into shivers" (Re 2:27). The prophets hasten forward tothe final extinction of the ungodly (Ps 37:20; Re 19:20; 20:15); of which antecedent judgments aretypes.29. ashamed—(Ro 6:21).oaks—Others translate the "terebinth" or "turpentine tree." Groves were dedicated to idols. OurDruids took their name from the Greek for "oaks." A sacred tree is often found in Assyrian sculpture;symbol of the starry hosts, Saba.gardens—planted enclosures for idolatry; the counterpart of the garden of Eden.30. oak—Ye shall be like the "oaks," the object of your "desire" (Isa 1:29). People become likethe gods they worship; they never rise above their level (Ps 135:18). So men's sins become theirown scourges (Jer 2:9). The leaf of the idol oak fades by a law of necessary consequence, havingno living sap or "water" from God. So "garden" answers to "gardens" (Isa 1:29).31. strong—powerful rulers (Am 2:9).maker of it—rather, his work. He shall be at once the fuel, "tow," and the cause of the fire, bykindling the first "spark."both—the wicked ruler, and "his work," which "is as a spark."CHAPTER 2Isa 2:1-22.1. The inscription.The word—the revelation.2. Same as Mic 4:1. As Micah prophesied in Jotham's reign, and Isaiah in Uzziah's, Micah restson Isaiah, whom he confirms: not vice versa. Hengstenberg on slight grounds makes Mic 4:1 theoriginal.last days—that is, Messiah's: especially the days yet to come, to which all prophecy hastens,when "the house of the God of Jacob," namely, at Jerusalem, shall be the center to which theconverted nations shall flock together (Mt 13:32; Lu 2:31, 32; Ac 1:6, 7); where "the kingdom" ofIsrael is regarded as certain and the time alone uncertain (Ps 68:15, 16; 72:8, 11).mountain of the Lord's house … in the top, &c.—the temple on Mount Moriah: type of theGospel, beginning at Jerusalem, and, like an object set on the highest hill, made so conspicuousthat all nations are attracted to it.flow—as a broad stream (Isa 66:12).1053JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. If the curse foretold against Israel has been literally fulfilled, so shall the promised blessingbe literal. We Gentiles must not, while giving them the curse, deny them their peculiar blessing byspiritualizing it. The Holy Ghost shall be poured out for a general conversion then (Jer 50:5; Zec8:21, 23; Joe 2:28).from Jerusalem—(Lu 24:47) an earnest of the future relations of Jerusalem to Christendom(Ro 11:12, 15).4. judge—as a sovereign umpire, settling all controversies (compare Isa 11:4). Lowth translates"work," "conviction."plowshares—in the East resembling a short sword (Isa 9:6, 7; Zec 9:10).5. The connection is: As Israel's high destiny is to be a blessing to all nations (Ge 12:3), letIsrael's children walk worthy of it (Eph 5:8).6. Therefore—rather, "For": reasons why there is the more need of the exhortation in Isa 2:5.thou—transition to Jehovah: such rapid transitions are natural, when the mind is full of a subject.replenished—rather, filled, namely, with the superstitions of the East, Syria, and Chaldea.soothsayers—forbidden (De 18:10-14).Philistines—southwest of Palestine: antithesis to "the east."please themselves—rather, join hands with, that is, enter into alliances, matrimonial andnational: forbidden (Ex 23:32; Ne 13:23, &c.).7. gold—forbidden to be heaped together (De 17:17). Solomon disobeyed (1Ki 10:21, 27).horses … chariots—forbidden (De 17:16). But Solomon disobeyed (1Ki 20:26). Horses couldbe used effectively for war in the plains of Egypt; not so in the hilly Judea. God designed thereshould be as wide as possible a distinction between Israel and the Egyptians. He would have Hispeople wholly dependent on Him, rather than on the ordinary means of warfare (Ps 20:7). Alsohorses were connected with idolatry (2Ki 23:11); hence His objection: so the transition to "idols"(Isa 2:8) is natural.8. (Ho 8:4). Not so much public idolatry, which was not sanctioned in Uzziah's and Jotham'sreign, but (see 2Ki 15:4, 35) as private.9. mean—in rank: not morally base: opposed to "the great man." The former is in Hebrew,Adam, the latter, ish.boweth—namely, to idols. All ranks were idolaters.forgive … not—a threat expressed by an imperative. Isaiah so identifies himself with God'swill, that he prays for that which he knows God purposes. So Re 18:6.10. Poetical form of expressing that, such were their sins, they would be obliged by God'sjudgments to seek a hiding-place from His wrath (Re 6:15, 16).dust—equivalent to "caves of the earth," or dust (Isa 2:19).for fear, &c.—literally, "from the face of the terror of the Lord."11. lofty looks—literally, "eyes of pride" (Ps 18:27).humbled—by calamities. God will so vindicate His honor "in that day" of judgments, that noneelse "shall be exalted" (Zec 14:9).12. Man has had many days: "the day of the Lord" shall come at last, beginning with judgment,a never-ending day in which God shall be "all in all" (1Co 15:28; 2Pe 3:10).every—not merely person, as English Version explains it, but every thing on which the nationprided itself.1054JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13. cedars … oaks—image for haughty nobles and princes (Am 2:9; Zec 11:1, 2; compare Re19:18-21).Bashan—east of Jordan, north of the river Jabbok, famous for fine oaks, pasture, and cattle.Perhaps in "oaks" there is reference to their idolatry (Isa 1:29).14. high … hills—referring to the "high places" on which sacrifices were unlawfully offered,even in Uzziah's (equivalent to Azariah) reign (2Ki 15:4). Also, places of strength, fastnesses inwhich they trusted, rather than in God; so15. tower … wall—Towers were often made on the walls of cities.fenced—strongly fortified.16. Tarshish—Tartessus in southwest Spain, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir, near Gibraltar.It includes the adjoining region: a Phoenician colony; hence its connection with Palestine and theBible (2Ch 9:21). The name was also used in a wide sense for the farthest west, as our West Indies(Isa 66:19; Ps 48:7; 72:10). "Ships of Tarshish" became a phrase for richly laden and far-voyagingvessels. The judgment shall be on all that minister to man's luxury (compare Re 18:17-19).pictures—ordered to be destroyed (Nu 33:52). Still to be seen on the walls of Nineveh's palaces.It is remarkable that whereas all other ancient civilized nations, Egypt, Assyria, Greece, Rome,have left monuments in the fine arts, Judea, while rising immeasurably above them in the possessionof "the living oracles," has left none of the former. The fine arts, as in modern Rome, were so oftenassociated with polytheism, that God required His people in this, as in other respects, to be separatefrom the nations (De 4:15-18). But Vulgate translation is perhaps better, "All that is beautiful tothe sight"; not only paintings, but all luxurious ornaments. One comprehensive word for all thatgoes before (compare Re 18:12, 14, 16).17. Repeated from Isa 2:11, for emphatic confirmation.18. idols—literally, "vain things," "nothings" (1Co 8:4). Fulfilled to the letter. Before theBabylonian captivity the Jews were most prone to idolatry; in no instance, ever since. For the futurefulfilment, see Zec 13:2; Re 13:15; 19:20.19. The fulfilment answers exactly to the threat (Isa 2:10).they—the idol-worshippers.caves—abounding in Judea, a hilly country; hiding-places in times of alarm (1Sa 13:6).shake … earth—and the heavens also (Heb 12:26). Figure for severe and universal judgments.20. moles—Others translate "mice." The sense is, under ground, in darkness.bats—unclean birds (Le 11:19), living amidst tenantless ruins (Re 11:13).22. The high ones (Isa 2:11, 13) on whom the people trust, shall be "brought low" (Isa 3:2);therefore "cease from" depending on them, instead of on the Lord (Ps 146:3-5).CHAPTER 3Isa 3:1-26.1. For—continuation of Isa 2:22.Lord of hosts—therefore able to do as He says.doth—present for future, so certain is the accomplishment.1055JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstay … staff—the same Hebrew word, the one masculine, the other feminine, an Arabic idiomfor all kinds of support. What a change from the previous luxuries (Isa 2:7)! Fulfilled in the siegeby Nebuchadnezzar and afterwards by Titus (Jer 37:21; 38:9).2. Fulfilled (2Ki 24:14).prudent—the Hebrew often means a "soothsayer" (De 18:10-14); thus it will mean, the diviners,on whom they rely, shall in that day fail. It is found in a good sense (Pr 16:10), from which passagethe Jews interpret it a king; "without" whom Israel long has been (Ho 3:4).ancient—old and experienced (1Ki 12:6-8).3. captain of fifty—not only captains of thousands, and centurions of a hundred, but evensemi-centurions of fifty, shall fail.honourable—literally, "of dignified aspect."cunning—skilful. The mechanic's business will come to a standstill in the siege and subsequentdesolation of the state; artisans are no mean "stay" among a nation's safeguards.eloquent orator—rather, as Vulgate, "skilled in whispering," that is, incantation (Ps 58:5). SeeIsa 8:19, below; and on "prudent," see on Isa 3:2.4. children—in ability for governing; antithesis to the "ancient" (see Isa 3:12; Ec 10:16).babes—in warlike might; antithesis to "the mighty" and "man of war."5. The anarchy resulting under such imbecile rulers (Isa 3:4); unjust exactions mutually; theforms of respect violated (Le 19:32).base—low-born. Compare the marks of "the last days" (2Ti 3:2).6. Such will be the want of men of wealth and ability, that they will "take hold of" (Isa 4:1) thefirst man whom they meet, having any property, to make him "ruler."brother—one having no better hereditary claim to be ruler than the "man" supplicating him.Thou hast clothing—which none of us has. Changes of raiment are wealth in the East (2Ki5:5).ruin—Let our ruined affairs be committed to thee to retrieve.7. swear—literally, "lift up," namely, his hand; the gesture used in solemn attestation. Or, hisvoice, that is, answer; so Vulgate.healer—of the body politic, incurably diseased (Isa 1:6).neither … clothing—so as to relieve the people and maintain a ruler's dignity. A nation's statemust be bad indeed, when none among men, naturally ambitious, is willing to accept office.8. Reason given by the prophet, why all shrink from the government.eyes of his glory—to provoke His "glorious" Majesty before His "eyes" (compare Isa 49:5;Hab 1:13). The Syriac and Lowth, by a slight change of the Hebrew, translate, "the cloud of Hisglory," the Shekinah.9. show—The Hebrew means, "that which may be known by their countenances" [Gesenius andWeiss]. But Maurer translates, "Their respect for person"; so Syriac and Chaldee. But the parallelword "declare" favors the other view. Kimchi, from the Arabic, translates "their hardness" (Job 19:3,Margin), or impudence of countenance (Jer 3:3). They have lost not only the substance of virtue,but its color.witness—literally, "corresponds" to them; their look answers to their inner character (Ho 5:5).declare—(Jude 13). "Foaming out their own shame"; so far from making it a secret, "glorying"in it (Php 3:19).unto themselves—Compare "in themselves" (Pr 1:31; 8:36; Jer 2:19; Ro 1:27).1056JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson10. The faithlessness of many is no proof that all are faithless. Though nothing but croaking offrogs is heard on the surface of the pool, we are not to infer there are no fish beneath [Bengel]. (SeeIsa 1:19, 20).fruit of doings—(Pr 1:31) in a good sense (Ga 6:8; Re 22:14). Not salvation by works, but byfruit-bearing faith (Isa 45:24; Jer 23:6). Gesenius and Weiss translate, Declare as to the righteous that,&c. Maurer, "Say that the righteous is blessed."11. ill—antithesis to "well" (Isa 3:10); emphatic ellipsis of the words italicized. "Ill!"hands—his conduct; "hands" being the instrument of acts (Ec 8:12, 13).12. (See Isa 3:4).oppressors—literally, "exactors," that is, exacting princes (Isa 60:17). They who ought to beprotectors are exactors; as unqualified for rule as "children," as effeminate as "women." Perhapsit is also implied that they were under the influence of their harem, the women of their court.lead—Hebrew, "call thee blessed"; namely, the false prophets, who flatter the people withpromises of safety in sin; as the political "rulers" are meant in the first clause.way of thy paths—(Jer 6:16). The right way set forth in the law. "Destroy"—Hebrew, "Swallowup," that is, cause so utterly to disappear that not a vestige of it is left.13. standeth up—no longer sitting in silence.plead—indignant against a wicked people (Isa 66:16; Eze 20:35).14. ancients—Hence they are spoken of as "taken away" (Isa 3:1, 2).vineyard—the Jewish theocracy (Isa 5:1-7; Ps 80:9-13).eaten up—"burnt"; namely, by "oppressive exactions" (Isa 3:12). Type of the crowning guiltof the husbandmen in the days of Jesus Christ (Mt 21:34-41).spoil … houses—(Mt 23:14).15. What right have ye to beat, &c. (Ps 94:5; Mic 3:2, 3).grind—by exactions, so as to leave them nothing.faces—persons; with the additional idea of it being openly and palpably done. "Presence,"equivalent to "face" (Hebrew).16. Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, &c.—Luxury had become great in Uzziah'sprosperous reign (2Ch 26:5).stretched forth—proudly elevated (Ps 75:5).wanton—rather, "making the eyes to glance about," namely, wantonly (Pr 6:13) [Maurer]. ButLowth, "falsely setting off the eyes with paint." Women's eyelids in the East are often colored withstibium, or powder of lead (see on Job 42:14; Jer 4:30, Margin).mincing—tripping with short steps.tinkling—with their ankle-rings on both feet, joined by small chains, which sound as they walk,and compel them to take short steps; sometimes little bells were attached (Isa 3:18, 20).17. smite with a scab—literally, "make bald," namely, by—cause them to suffer the greatest indignity that can befall female captives, namelyto be stripped naked, and have their persons exposed (Isa 47:3; compare with Isa 20:4).18. bravery—the finery.tinkling—(See Isa 3:16).cauls—network for the head. Or else, from an Arabic root, "little suns," answering to the "tires"or neck-ornaments, "like the moon" (Jud 8:21). The chumarah or crescent is also worn in front ofthe headdress in West Asia.1057JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson19. chains—rather, pendants, hanging about the neck, and dropping on the breast.mufflers—veils covering the face, with apertures for the eyes, close above and loosely flowingbelow. The word radically means "tremulous," referring to the changing effect of the spangles onthe veil.20. bonnets—turbans.ornaments of the legs—the short stepping-chains from one foot to another, to give a measuredgait; attached to the "tinkling ornaments" (Isa 3:16).headbands—literally, "girdles."tablets—rather, "houses of the breath," that is, smelling boxes [Vulgate].earrings—rather, amulets suspended from the neck or ears, with magic formulæ inscribed; theroot means to "whisper" or "conjure."21. nose jewels—The cartilage between the nostrils was bored to receive them; they usuallyhung from the left nostril.22. Here begin entire articles of apparel. Those before were single ornaments.changeable—from a root, "to put off"; not worn commonly; put on and off on special occasions.So, dress-clothes (Zec 3:4).mantles—fuller tunics with sleeves, worn over the common one, reaching down to the feet.wimples—that is, mufflers, or hoods. In Ru 3:15, "veils"; perhaps here, a broad cloak, or shawl,thrown over the head and body.crisping pins—rather, money bags (2Ki 5:23).23. glasses—mirrors of polished metal (Ex 38:8). But the Septuagint, a transparent, gauze-like,garment.hoods—miters, or diadems (Isa 62:3; Zec 3:5).veils—large enough to cover the head and person. Distinct from the smaller veils ("mufflers")above (Ge 24:65). Token of woman's subjection (1Co 11:10).24. stink—arising from ulcers (Zec 14:12).girdle—to gird up the loose Eastern garments, when the person—the Septuagint, better, a "rope," an emblem of poverty; the poor have nothing else togird up their clothes with.well-set hair—(1Pe 3:3, 4).baldness—(Isa 3:17).stomacher—a broad plaited girdle.sackcloth—(2Sa 3:31).burning—a sunburnt countenance, owing to their hoods and veils being stripped off, whilethey had to work as captives under a scorching sun (So 1:6).25. Thy men—of Jerusalem.26. gates—The place of concourse personified is represented mourning for the loss of thosemultitudes which once frequented it.desolate … sit upon … ground—the very figure under which Judea was represented on medalsafter the destruction by Titus: a female sitting under a palm tree in a posture of grief; the motto,Judæa capta (Job 2:13; La 2:10, where, as here primarily, the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar isalluded to).1058JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 4Isa 4:1-6.that day—the calamitous period described in previous—indefinite number among the Jews. So many men would be slain, that there would bevery many more women than men; for example, seven women, contrary to their natural bashfulness,would sue to (equivalent to "take hold of," Isa 3:6) one man to marry … own bread—foregoing the privileges, which the law (Ex 21:10) gives to wives, whena man has more than one.reproach—of being unwedded and childless; especially felt among the Jews, who were lookingfor "the seed of the woman," Jesus Christ, described in Isa 4:2; Isa 54:1, 4; Lu 1:25.2. In contrast to those on whom vengeance falls, there is a manifestation of Jesus Christ to the"escaped of Israel" in His characteristic attributes, beauty and glory, typified in Aaron's garments(Ex 28:2). Their sanctification is promised as the fruit of their being "written" in the book of lifeby sovereign love (Isa 4:3); the means of it are the "spirit of judgment" and that of "burning" (Isa4:4). Their "defense" by the special presence of Jesus Christ is promised (Isa 4:5, 6).branch—the sprout of Jehovah. Messiah (Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zec 3:8; 6:12; Lu 1:78, Margin). Theparallel clause does not, as Maurer objects, oppose this; for "fruit of the earth" answers to "branch";He shall not be a dry, but a fruit-bearing branch (Isa 27:6; Eze 34:23-27). He is "of the earth" inHis birth and death, while He is also "of the Lord" (Jehovah) (Joh 12:24). His name, "the Branch,"chiefly regards His descent from David, when the family was low and reduced (Lu 2:4, 7, 24); asprout with more than David's glory, springing as from a decayed tree (Isa 11:1; 53:2; Re 22:16).excellent—(Heb 1:4; 8:6).comely—(So 5:15, 16; Eze 16:14).escaped of Israel—the elect remnant (Ro 11:5); (1) in the return from Babylon; (2) in theescape from Jerusalem's destruction under Titus; (3) in the still future assault on Jerusalem, anddeliverance of "the third part"; events mutually analogous, like concentric circles (Zec 12:2-10;13:8, 9, &c.; 14:2; Eze 39:23-29; Joe 3:1-21).3. left in Zion—equivalent to the "escaped of Israel" (Isa 4:2).shall be called—shall be (Isa 9:6).holy—(Isa 52:1; 60:21; Re 21:27).written—in the book of life, antitypically (Php 4:3; Re 3:5; 17:8). Primarily, in the registerkept of Israel's families and—not "blotted out" from the registry, as dead; but written there as among the "escapedof Israel" (Da 12:1; Eze 13:9). To the elect of Israel, rather than the saved in general, the specialreference is here (Joe 3:17).4. When—that is, After.washed—(Zec 13:1).filth—moral (Isa 1:21-25).daughters of Zion—same as in Isa 3:16.purged—purified by judgments; destroying the ungodly, correcting and refining the godly.blood—(Isa 1:15).spirit—Whatever God does in the universe, He does by His Spirit, "without the hand" of man(Job 34:20; Ps 104:30). Here He is represented using His power as Judge.1059JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonburning—(Mt 3:11, 12). The same Holy Ghost, who sanctifies believers by the fire of affliction(Mal 3:2, 3), dooms unbelievers to the fire of perdition (1Co 3:13-15).5. create—The "new creation" needs as much God's creative omnipotence, as the materialcreation (2Co 4:6; Eph 2:10). So it shall be in the case of the Holy Jerusalem to come (Isa 65:17,18).upon—The pillar of cloud stood over the tabernacle, as symbol of God's favor and presence(Ex 13:21, 22; Ps 91:1). Both on individual families ("every dwelling") and on the general sacred"assemblies" (Le 23:2). The "cloud" became a "fire" by night in order to be seen by the Lord'speople.upon all the glory—"upon the glorious whole"; namely, the Lord's people and sanctuary[Maurer]. May it not mean, "Upon whatever the glory (the Shekinah spoken of in the previous clause)shall rest, there shall be a defense." The symbol of His presence shall ensure also safety. So it wasto Israel against the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Ex 14:19, 20). So it shall be to literal Jerusalemhereafter (Zec 2:5). Also to the Church, the spiritual "Zion" (Isa 32:18; 33:15-17; Heb 12:22).tabernacle—Christ's body (Joh 1:14). "The word 'tabernacled' (Greek for 'dwelt') among us"(Joh 2:21; Heb 8:2). It is a "shadow from the heat" and "refuge from the storm" of divine wrathagainst man's sins (Isa 25:4). Heat and storms are violent in the East; so that a portable tent is aneedful part of a traveller's outfit. Such shall be God's wrath hereafter, from which the "escaped ofIsrael" shall be sheltered by Jesus Christ (Isa 26:20, 21; 32:2).covert—answering to "defense" (Isa 4:5). The Hebrew for defense in Isa 4:5, is "covering";the lid of the ark or mercy seat was named from the same Hebrew word, caphar; the propitiatory;for it, being sprinkled with blood by the high priest once a year, on the day of atonement, coveredthe people typically from wrath. Jesus Christ is the true Mercy Seat, on whom the Shekinah rested,the propitiatory, or atonement, beneath whom the law is kept, as it was literally within the ark, andman is covered from the storm. The redeemed Israel shall also be, by union with Him, a tabernaclefor God's glory, which, unlike that in the wilderness, shall not be taken down (Isa 38:20).CHAPTER 5Isa 5:1-30. Parable of Jehovah's Vineyard.A new prophecy; entire in itself. Probably delivered about the same time as the second andthird chapters, in Uzziah's reign. Compare Isa 5:15, 16 with Isa 2:17; and Isa 5:1 with Isa 3:14.However, the close of the chapter alludes generally to the still distant invasion of Assyrians in alater reign (compare Isa 5:26 with Isa 7:18; and Isa 5:25 with Isa 9:12). When the time drew nigh,according to the ordinary prophetic usage, he handles the details more particularly (Isa 7:1-8:22);namely, the calamities caused by the Syro-Israelitish invasion, and subsequently by the Assyrianswhom Ahaz had invited to his help.1. to—rather, "concerning" [Gesenius], that is, in the person of My beloved, as His representative[Vitringa]. Isaiah gives a hint of the distinction and yet unity of the Divine Persons (compare Hewith I, Isa 5:2, 3).of my beloved—inspired by Him; or else, a tender song [Castalio]. By a slight change of reading"a song of His love" [Houbigant]. "The Beloved" is Jehovah, the Second Person, the "Angel" of God1060JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe Father, not in His character as incarnate Messiah, but as God of the Jews (Ex 23:20, 21; 32:34;33:14).vineyard—(Isa 3:14; Ps 80:8, &c.). The Jewish covenant-people, separated from the nationsfor His glory, as the object of His peculiar care (Mt 20:1; 21:33). Jesus Christ in the "vineyard" ofthe New Testament Church is the same as the Old Testament Angel of the Jewish covenant.fruitful hill—literally, "a horn" ("peak," as the Swiss shreckhorn) of the son of oil; poetically,for very fruitful. Suggestive of isolation, security, and a sunny aspect. Isaiah alludes plainly to theSong of Solomon (So 6:3; 8:11, 12), in the words "His vineyard" and "my Beloved" (compare Isa26:20; 61:10, with So 1:4; 4:10). The transition from "branch" (Isa 4:2) to "vineyard" here is notunnatural.2. fenced—rather, "digged and trenched" the ground to prepare it for planting the vines [Maurer].choicest vine—Hebrew, sorek; called still in Morocco, serki; the grapes had scarcely perceptibleseeds; the Persian kishmish or bedana, that is, "without seed" (Ge 49:11).tower—to watch the vineyard against the depredations of man or beast, and for the use of theowner (Mt 21:33).wine-press—including the wine-fat; both hewn, for coolness, out of the rocky undersoil of thevineyard.wild grapes—The Hebrew expresses offensive putrefaction, answering to the corrupt state ofthe Jews. Fetid fruit of the wild vine [Maurer], instead of "choicest" grapes. Of the poisonous monk'shood [Gesenius]. The Arabs call the fruit of the nightshade "wolf grapes" (De 32:32, 33; 2Ki 4:39-41).Jerome tries to specify the details of the parable; the "fence," angels; the "stones gathered out," idols;the "tower," the "temple in the midst" of Judea; the "wine-press," the altar.3. And now, &c.—appeal of God to themselves, as in Isa 1:18; Mic 6:3. So Jesus Christ, in Mt21:40, 41, alluding in the very form of expression to this, makes them pass sentence on themselves.God condemns sinners "out of their own mouth" (De 32:6; Job 15:6; Lu 19:22; Ro 3:4).4. God has done all that could be done for the salvation of sinners, consistently with His justiceand goodness. The God of nature is, as it were, amazed at the unnatural fruit of so well-cared avineyard.5. go to—that is, attend to me.hedge … wall—It had both; a proof of the care of the owner. But now it shall be trodden downby wild beasts (enemies) (Ps 80:12, 13).6. I will … command—The parable is partly dropped and Jehovah, as in Isa 5:7, is implied tobe the Owner: for He alone, not an ordinary husbandman (Mt 21:43; Lu 17:22), could give such a"command."no rain—antitypically, the heaven-sent teachings of the prophets (Am 8:11). Not accomplishedin the Babylonish captivity; for Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah prophesied duringor after it. But in gospel times.7. Isaiah here applies the parable. It is no mere human owner, nor a literal vineyard that ismeant.vineyard of the Lord—His only one (Ex 19:5; Am 3:2).pleasant—"the plant of his delight"; just as the husbandman was at pains to select the sorek,or "choicest vine" (Isa 5:2); so God's election of the Jews.judgment—justice. The play upon words is striking in the Hebrew, He looked for mishpat, butbehold mispat ("bloodshed"); for tsedaqua, but behold tseaqua (the cry that attends anarchy,1061JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncovetousness, and dissipation, Isa 5:8, 11, 12; compare the cry of the rabble by which justice wasoverborne in the case of Jesus Christ, Mt 27:23, 24).Isa 5:8-23. Six Distinct Woes against Crimes.8. (Le 25:13; Mic 2:2). The jubilee restoration of possessions was intended as a guard againstavarice.till there be no place—left for any one else.that they may be—rather, and ye be.the earth—the land.9. In mine ears … the Lord—namely, has revealed it, as in Isa 22:14.desolate—literally, "a desolation," namely, on account of the national sins.great and fair—houses.10. acres—literally, "yokes"; as much as one yoke of oxen could plow in a—only.bath—of wine; seven and a half gallons.homer … ephah—Eight bushels of seed would yield only three pecks of produce (Eze 45:11).The ephah and bath, one-tenth of an homer.11. Second Woe—against intemperance.early—when it was regarded especially shameful to drink (Ac 2:15; 1Th 5:7). Banquets forrevelry began earlier than usual (Ec 10:16, 17).strong drink—Hebrew, sichar, implying intoxication.continue—drinking all day till evening.12. Music was common at ancient feasts (Isa 24:8, 9; Am 6:5, 6).viol—an instrument with twelve strings [Josephus, Antiquities, 8.10].tabret—Hebrew, toph, from the use of which in drowning the cries of children sacrificed toMoloch, Tophet received its name. Arabic, duf. A kettle drum, or tambourine.pipe—flute or flageolet: from a Hebrew root "to bore through"; or else, "to dance" (compareJob 21:11-15).regard not … Lord—a frequent effect of feasting (Job 1:5; Ps 28:5).work … operation—in punishing the guilty (Isa 5:19; Isa 10:12).13. are gone—The prophet sees the future as if it were before his knowledge—because of their foolish recklessness (Isa 5:12; Isa 1:3; Ho 4:6; Lu 19:44).famished—awful contrast to their luxurious feasts (Isa 5:11, 12).multitude—plebeians in contradistinction to the "honorable men," or nobles.thirst—(Ps 107:4, 5). Contrast to their drinking (Isa 5:11). In their deportation and exile, theyshall hunger and thirst.14. hell—the grave; Hebrew, sheol; Greek, hades; "the unseen world of spirits." Not here, "theplace of torment." Poetically, it is represented as enlarging itself immensely, in order to receive thecountless hosts of Jews, which should perish (Nu 16:30).their—that is, of the Jewish people.he that rejoiceth—the drunken reveller in Jerusalem.15. (Compare Isa 2:9, 11, 17). All ranks, "mean" and "mighty" alike; so "honorable" and"multitude" (Isa 5:13).16. God shall be "exalted" in man's view, because of His manifestation of His "justice" inpunishing the guilty.1062JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsanctified—regarded as holy by reason of His "righteous" dealings.17. after their manner—literally, "according to their own word," that is, at will. Otherwise,as in their own pasture [Gesenius]: so the Hebrew in Mic 2:12. The lands of the Scenite tent dwellers(Jer 35:7). Arab shepherds in the neighborhood shall roam at large, the whole of Judea being sodesolate as to become a vast pasturage.waste … fat ones—the deserted lands of the rich ("fat," Ps 22:29), then gone into captivity;"strangers," that is, nomad tribes shall make their flocks to feed on [Maurer]. Figuratively, "thelambs" are the pious, "the fat ones" the impious. So tender disciples of Jesus Christ (Joh 21:15) arecalled "lambs"; being meek, harmless, poor, and persecuted. Compare Eze 39:18, where the fatlingsare the rich and great (1Co 1:26, 27). The "strangers" are in this view the "other sheep not of the"the Jewish "fold" (Joh 10:16), the Gentiles whom Jesus Christ shall "bring" to be partakers of therich privileges (Ro 11:17) which the Jews ("fat ones," Eze 34. 16) fell from. Thus "after their (own)manner" will express that the Christian Church should worship God in freedom, released from legalbondage (Joh 4:23; Ga 5:1).18. Third Woe—against obstinate perseverance in sin, as if they wished to provoke divinejudgments.iniquity—guilt, incurring punishment [Maurer].cords, &c.—cart-rope—Rabbins say, "An evil inclination is at first like a fine hair-string, butthe finishing like a cart-rope." The antithesis is between the slender cords of sophistry, like thespider's web (Isa 59:5; Job 8:14), with which one sin draws on another, until they at last bindthemselves with great guilt as with a cart-rope. They strain every nerve in sin.vanity—wickedness.sin—substantive, not a verb: they draw on themselves "sin" and its penalty recklessly.19. work—vengeance (Isa 5:12). Language of defiance to God. So Lamech's boast of impunity(Ge 4:23, 24; compare Jer 17:15; 2Pe 3:3, 4).counsel—God's threatened purpose to punish.20. Fourth Woe—against those who confound the distinctions of right and wrong (compare Ro1:28), "reprobate," Greek, "undiscriminating: the moral perception darkened."bitter … sweet—sin is bitter (Jer 2:19; 4:18; Ac 8:23; Heb 12:15); though it seem sweet for atime (Pr 9:17, 18). Religion is sweet (Ps 119:103).21. Fifth Woe—against those who were so "wise in their own eyes" as to think they knew betterthan the prophet, and therefore rejected his warnings (Isa 29:14, 15).22, 23. Sixth Woe—against corrupt judges, who, "mighty" in drinking "wine" (a boast still notuncommon), if not in defending their country, obtain the means of self-indulgence by taking bribes("reward"). The two verses are closely joined [Maurer].mingle strong drink—not with water, but spices to make it intoxicating (Pr 9:2, 5; So 8:2).take away the righteousness—set aside the just claims of those having a righteous cause.24. Literally, "tongue of fire eateth" (Ac 2:3).flame consumeth the chaff—rather, withered grass falleth before the flame (Mt 3:12).root … blossom—entire decay, both the hidden source and outward manifestations of prosperity,perishing (Job 18:16; Mal 4:1).cast away … law—in its spirit, while retaining the letter.25. anger … kindled—(2Ki 22:13, 17).1063JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhills … tremble—This probably fixes the date of this chapter, as it refers to the earthquake inthe days of Uzziah (Am 1:1; Zec 14:5). The earth trembled as if conscious of the presence of God(Jer 4:24; Hab 3:6).torn—rather, were as dung (Ps 83:10).For all this, &c.—This burden of the prophet's strains, with dirge-like monotony, is repeatedat Isa 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4. With all the past calamities, still heavier judgments are impending; whichhe specifies in the rest of the chapter (Le 26:14, &c.).26. lift … ensign—to call together the hostile nations to execute His judgments on Judea (Isa10:5-7; 45:1). But for mercy to it, in Isa 11:12; 18:3.hiss—(Isa 7:18). Bees were drawn out of their hives by the sound of a flute, or hissing, orwhistling (Zec 10:8). God will collect the nations round Judea like bees (De 1:44; Ps 118:12).end of the earth—the widely distant subject races of which the Assyrian army was made up(Isa 22:6). The ulterior fulfilment took place in the siege under Roman Titus. Compare "end of theearth" (De 28:49, &c.). So the pronoun is singular in the Hebrew, for "them," "their," "whose"(him, his, &c.), Isa 5:26-29; referring to some particular nation and person [Horsley].27. weary—with long marches (De 25:18).none … slumber—requiring no rest.girdle—with which the ancient loose robes used to be girded for action. Ever ready for marchor battle.nor the latchet … broken—The soles were attached to the feet, not by upper leather as withus, but by straps. So securely clad that not even a strap of their sandals gives way, so as to impedetheir march.28. bent—ready for battle.hoofs … flint—The ancients did not shoe their horses: hence the value of hard hoofs for longmarches.wheels—of their chariots. The Assyrian army abounded in cavalry and chariots (Isa 22:6, 7;36:8).29. roaring—their battle cry.30. sorrow, and the light is darkened—Otherwise, distress and light (that is, hope and fear)alternately succeed (as usually occurs in an unsettled state of things), and darkness arises in, &c.[Maurer].heavens—literally, "clouds," that is, its sky is rather "clouds" than sky. Otherwise from adifferent Hebrew root, "in its destruction" or ruins. Horsley takes "sea … look unto the land" as anew image taken from mariners in a coasting vessel (such as all ancient vessels were), looking forthe nearest land, which the darkness of the storm conceals, so that darkness and distress alone maybe said to be visible.CHAPTER 6Isa 6:1-13. Vision of Jehovah in His Temple.Isaiah is outside, near the altar in front of the temple. The doors are supposed to open, and theveil hiding the Holy of Holies to be withdrawn, unfolding to his view a vision of God representedas an Eastern monarch, attended by seraphim as His ministers of state (1Ki 22:19), and with a robe1064JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand flowing train (a badge of dignity in the East), which filled the temple. This assertion that hehad seen God was, according to tradition (not sanctioned by Isa 1:1; see Introduction), the pretextfor sawing him asunder in Manasseh's reign (Heb 11:37). Visions often occur in the other prophets:in Isaiah there is only this one, and it is marked by characteristic clearness and simplicity.1. In … year … Uzziah died—Either literal death, or civil when he ceased as a leper to exercisehis functions as king [Chaldee], (2Ch 26:19-21). 754 B.C. [Calmet] 758 (Common Chronology). Thisis not the first beginning of Isaiah's prophecies, but his inauguration to a higher degree of theprophetic office: Isa 6:9, &c., implies the tone of one who had already experience of the people'sobstinacy.Lord—here Adonai, Jehovah in Isa 6:5; Jesus Christ is meant as speaking in Isa 6:10, accordingto Joh 12:41. Isaiah could only have "seen" the Son, not the divine essence (Joh 1:18). The wordsin Isa 6:10 are attributed by Paul (Ac 28:25, 26) to the Holy Ghost. Thus the Trinity in unity isimplied; as also by the thrice "Holy" (Isa 6:3). Isaiah mentions the robes, temple, and seraphim,but not the form of God Himself. Whatever it was, it was different from the usual Shekinah: thatwas on the mercy seat, this on a throne; that a cloud and fire, of this no form is specified: over thatwere the cherubim, over this the seraphim; that had no clothing, this had a flowing robe and train.2. stood—not necessarily the posture of standing; rather, were in attendance on Him [Maurer],hovering on expanded wings.the—not in the Hebrew.seraphim—nowhere else applied to God's attendant angels; but to the fiery flying (not winged,but rapidly moving) serpents, which bit the Israelites (Nu 21:6), called so from the poisonousinflammation caused by their bites. Seraph is to burn; implying the burning zeal, dazzling brightness(2Ki 2:11; 6:17; Eze 1:13; Mt 28:3) and serpent-like rapidity of the seraphim in God's service.Perhaps Satan's form as a serpent (nachash) in his appearance to man has some connection withhis original form as a seraph of light. The head of the serpent was the symbol of wisdom in Egypt(compare Nu 21:8; 2Ki 18:4). The seraphim, with six wings and one face, can hardly be identifiedwith the cherubim, which had four wings (in the temple only two) and four faces (Eze 1:5-12). (Butcompare Re 4:8). The "face" and "feet" imply a human form; something of a serpentine form(perhaps a basilisk's head, as in the temples of Thebes) may have been mixed with it: so the cherubwas compounded of various animal forms. However, seraph may come from a root meaning"princely," applied in Da 10:13 to Michael [Maurer]; just as cherub comes from a root (changing minto b), meaning "noble."twain—Two wings alone of the six were kept ready for instant flight in God's service; twoveiled their faces as unworthy to look on the holy God, or pry into His secret counsels which theyfulfilled (Ex 3:6; Job 4:18; 15:15); two covered their feet, or rather the whole of the lower parts oftheir persons—a practice usual in the presence of Eastern monarchs, in token of reverence (compareEze 1:11, their bodies). Man's service a fortiori consists in reverent waiting on, still more than inactive service for, God.3. (Re 4:8). The Trinity is implied (on "Lord," see on Isa 6:1). God's holiness is the keynote ofIsaiah's whole prophecies.whole earth—the Hebrew more emphatically, the fulness of the whole earth is His glory (Ps24:1; 72:19).4. posts of … door—rather, foundations of the—temple.1065JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsmoke—the Shekinah cloud (1Ki 8:10; Eze 10:4).5. undone—(Ex 33:20). The same effect was produced on others by the presence of God (Jud6:22; 13:22; Job 42:5, 6; Lu 5:8; Re 1:17).lips—appropriate to the context which describes the praises of the lips, sung in alternateresponses (Ex 15:20, 21; Isa 6:3) by the seraphim: also appropriate to the office of speaking as theprophet of God, about to be committed to Isaiah (Isa 6:9).seen—not strictly Jehovah Himself (Joh 1:18; 1Ti 6:16), but the symbol of His presence.Lord—Hebrew, "Jehovah."6. unto me—The seraph had been in the temple, Isaiah outside of coal—literally, "a hot stone," used, as in some countries in our days, to roast meat with,for example, the meat of the sacrifices. Fire was a symbol of purification, as it takes the dross outof metals (Mal 3:2, 3).the altar—of burnt offering, in the court of the priests before the temple. The fire on it was atfirst kindled by God (Le 9:24), and was kept continually burning.7. mouth … lips—(See on Isa 6:5). The mouth was touched because it was the part to be usedby the prophet when inaugurated. So "tongues of fire" rested on the disciples (Ac 2:3, 4) when theywere being set apart to speak in various languages of Jesus.iniquity—conscious unworthiness of acting as God's messenger.purged—literally, "covered," that is, expiated, not by any physical effect of fire to cleanse fromsin, but in relation to the altar sacrifices, of which Messiah, who here commissions Isaiah, was inHis death to be the antitype: it is implied hereby that it is only by sacrifice sin can be pardoned.8. I … us—The change of number indicates the Trinity (compare Ge 1:26; 11:7). Though nota sure argument for the doctrine, for the plural may indicate merely majesty, it accords with thattruth proved elsewhere.Whom … who—implying that few would be willing to bear the self-denial which the deliveringof such an unwelcome message to the Jews would require on the part of the messenger (compare1Ch 29:5).Here am I—prompt zeal, now that he has been specially qualified for it (Isa 6:7; compare 1Sa3:10, 11; Ac 9:6).9. Hear … indeed—Hebrew, "In hearing hear," that is, Though ye hear the prophet's warningsagain and again, ye are doomed, because of your perverse will (Joh 7:17), not to understand. Lightenough is given in revelation to guide those sincerely seeking to know, in order that they may do,God's will; darkness enough is left to confound the wilfully blind (Isa 43:8). So in Jesus' use ofparables (Mt 13:14).see … indeed—rather, "though ye see again and again," yet, &c.10. Make … fat—(Ps 119:17). "Render them the more hardened by thy warnings" [Maurer].This effect is the fruit, not of the truth in itself, but of the corrupt state of their hearts, to whichGod here judicially gives them over (Isa 63:17). Gesenius takes the imperatives as futures. "Proclaimtruths, the result of which proclamation will be their becoming the more hardened" (Ro 1:28; Eph4:18); but this does not so well as the former set forth God as designedly giving up sinners to judicialhardening (Ro 11:8; 2Th 2:11). In the first member of the sentence, the order is, the heart, ears,eyes; in the latter, the reverse order, the eyes, ears, heart. It is from the heart that corruption flowsinto the ears and eyes (Mr 7:21, 22); but through the eyes and ears healing reaches the heart (Ro10:17), [Bengel]. (Jer 5:21; Eze 12:2; Zec 7:11; Ac 7:57; 2Ti 4:4). In Mt 13:15, the words are quoted1066JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin the indicative, "is waxed gross" (so the Septuagint), not the imperative, "make fat"; God's wordas to the future is as certain as if it were already fulfilled. To see with one's eyes will not convincea will that is opposed to the truth (compare Joh 11:45, 46; 12:10, 11). "One must love divine thingsin order to understand them" [Pascal].be healed—of their spiritual malady, sin (Isa 1:6; Ps 103:3; Jer 17:14).11. how long—will this wretched condition of the nation being hardened to its destructioncontinue?until—(Isa 5:9)—fulfilled primarily at the Babylonish captivity, and more fully at the dispersionunder the Roman Titus.12. (2Ki 25:21).forsaking—abandonment of dwellings by their inhabitants (Jer 4:29).13. and it shall return, and … be eaten—Rather, "but it shall be again given over to beconsumed": if even a tenth survive the first destruction, it shall be destroyed by a second (Isa 5:25;Eze 5:1-5, 12), [Maurer and Horsley]. In English Version, "return" refers to the poor remnant left inthe land at the Babylonish captivity (2Ki 24:14; 25:12), which afterwards fled to Egypt in fear (2Ki25:26), and subsequently returned thence along with others who had fled to Moab and Edom (Jer40:11, 12), and suffered under further divine judgments.tell—rather, "terebinth" or "turpentine tree" (Isa 1:29).substance … when … cast … leaves—rather, "As a terebinth or oak in which, when they arecast down (not 'cast their leaves,' Job 14:7), the trunk or stock remains, so the holy seed (Ezr 9:2)shall be the stock of that land." The seeds of vitality still exist in both the land and the scatteredpeople of Judea, waiting for the returning spring of God's favor (Ro 11:5, 23-29). According toIsaiah, not all Israel, but the elect remnant alone, is destined to salvation. God shows unchangeableseverity towards sin, but covenant faithfulness in preserving a remnant, and to it Isaiah bequeathsthe prophetic legacy of the second part of his book (the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters).CHAPTER 7Isa 7:1-9:7. Prediction of the Ill Success of the Syro- Israelitish Invasion of Judah—Ahaz's Alliance with Assyria,and Its Fatal Results to Judea—Yet the Certainty of Final Preservation and of the Coming of Messiah.In the Assyrian inscriptions the name of Rezin, king of Damascus, is found among the tributariesof Tiglath-pileser, of whose reign the annals of seventeen years have been deciphered. For thehistorical facts in this chapter, compare 2Ki 15:37-16:9. Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel, asconfederates, advanced against Jerusalem. In the first campaign they "smote Ahaz with a greatslaughter" (2Ch 28:5). Their object was probably to unite the three kingdoms against Assyria. Egyptseems to have favored the plan, so as to interpose these confederate kingdoms between her ownfrontier and Assyria (compare Isa 7:18, "Egypt"; and 2Ki 17:4, Hoshea's league with Egypt). Rezinand Pekah may have perceived Ahaz' inclination towards Assyria rather than towards their ownconfederacy; this and the old feud between Israel and Judah (1Ki 12:16) occasioned their invasionof Judah. Ahaz, at the second inroad of his enemies (compare 2Ch 28:1-26 and 2Ki 15:37, with Isa16:5), smarting under his former defeat, applied to Tiglath-pileser, in spite of Isaiah's warning inthis chapter, that he should rather rely on God; that king accordingly attacked Damascus, and slewRezin (2Ki 16:9); and probably it was at the same time that he carried away part of Israel captive1067JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(2Ki 15:29), unless there were two assaults on Pekah—that in 2Ki 15:29, the earlier, and that inwhich Tiglath helped Ahaz subsequently [G. V. Smith]. Ahaz was saved at the sacrifice of Judah'sindependence and the payment of a large tribute, which continued till the overthrow of Sennacheribunder Hezekiah (Isa 37:37; 2Ki 16:8, 17, 18; 2Ch 28:20). Ahaz' reign began about 741 B.C., andPekah was slain in 738 [Winer].1. Ahaz—In the first years of his reign the design of the two kings against Judah was carriedout, which was formed in Jotham's reign (2Ki 15:37).Syria—Hebrew, Aram (Ge 10:22, 23), originally the whole region between the Euphrates andMediterranean, including Assyria, of which Syria is an abbreviation; here the region round Damascus,and along Mount Libanus.Jerusalem—An actual siege of it took place, but was foiled (2Ki 16:5).2. is confederate with—rather, is encamped upon the territory of Ephraim [Maurer], or better,as Rezin was encamped against Jerusalem, "is supported by" [Lowth] Ephraim, whose land laybetween Syria and Judah. The mention of "David" alludes, in sad contrast with the present, to thetime when David made Syria subject to him (2Sa 8:6).Ephraim—the ten … trees of … wood—a simultaneous agitation.3. Go forth—out of the city, to the place where Ahaz was superintending the works for defenseand the cutting off of the water supply from the enemy, and securing it to the city. So Isa 22:9; 2Ch32:4.Shearjashub—that is, A remnant shall return (Isa 6:13). His very name (compare Isa 7:14; Isa8:3) was a standing memorial to Ahaz and the Jews that the nation should not, notwithstanding thegeneral calamity (Isa 7:17-25; Isa 8:6-8), be utterly destroyed (Isa 10:21, 22).conduit—an aqueduct from the pool or reservoir for the supply of the city. At the foot of Zionwas Fount Siloah (Isa 8:6; Ne 3:15; Joh 9:7), called also Gihon, on the west of Jerusalem (2Ch32:30). Two pools were supplied from it, the Upper, or Old (Isa 22:11), or King's (Ne 2:14), andthe Lower (Isa 22:9), which received the superfluous waters of the upper. The upper pool is still tobe seen, about seven hundred yards from the Jaffa gate. The highway leading to the fullers' field,which was in a position near water for the purposes of washing, previous to drying and bleaching,the cloth, was probably alongside the aqueduct.4. Take heed, &c.—that is, See that thou be quiet (not seeking Assyrian aid in a fit of panic).tails—mere ends of firebrands, almost consumed themselves (about soon to fall before theAssyrians, Isa 7:8), therefore harmless.smoking—as about to go out; not blazing.son of Remaliah—Pekah, a usurper (2Ki 15:25). The Easterners express contempt by designatingone, not by his own name, but by his father's, especially when the father is but little known (1Sa20:27, 31).6. vex—rather, "throw into consternation" [Gesenius].make a breach—rather, "cleave it asunder." Their scheme was to divide a large portion of theterritory between themselves, and set up a vassal king of their own over the rest.son of Tabeal—unknown; a Syrian-sounding name, perhaps favored by a party in Jerusalem(Isa 3:6, 9, 12).7. (Isa 8:10; Pr 21:30).1068JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. head—that is, in both Syria and Israel the capital shall remain as it is; they shall not conquerJudah, but each shall possess only his own dominions.threescore and five … not a people—As these words break the symmetry of the parallelismin this verse, either they ought to be placed after "Remaliah's son," in Isa 7:9, or else they refer tosome older prophecy of Isaiah, or of Amos (as the Jewish writers represent), parenthetically; towhich, in Isa 7:8, the words, "If ye will not believe … not be established," correspond in parallelism.One deportation of Israel happened within one or two years from this time, under Tiglath-pileser(2Ki 15:29). Another in the reign of Hoshea, under Shalmaneser (2Ki 17:1-6), was about twentyyears after. But the final one which utterly "broke" up Israel so as to be "not a people," accompaniedby a colonization of Samaria with foreigners, was under Esar-haddon, who carried away Manasseh,king of Judah, also, in the twenty-second year of his reign, sixty-five years from the utterance ofthis prophecy (compare Ezr 4:2, 3, 10, with 2Ki 17:24; 2Ch 33:11) [Usher]. The event, though sofar off, was enough to assure the people of Judah that as God, the Head of the theocracy, wouldultimately interpose to destroy the enemies of His people, so they might rely on Him now.9. believe, … be established—There is a paronomasia, or play on the words, in the Hebrew:"if ye will not confide, ye shall not abide." Ahaz brought distress on himself by distrust in the Lord,and trust in Assyria.11. Ask thee—since thou dost not credit the prophet's words.sign—a miraculous token to assure thee that God will fulfil His promise of saving Jerusalem(Isa 37:30; 38:7, 8). "Signs," facts then present or near at hand as pledges for the more distant future,are frequent in Isaiah.ask … in … depth—literally, "Make deep … ask it," that is, Go to the depth of the earth or ofHades [Vulgate and Lowth], or, Mount high for it (literally, "Make high"). So in Mt 16:1. Signs inheaven are contrasted with the signs on earth and below it (raising the dead) which Jesus Christhad wrought (compare Ro 10:6, 7). He offers Ahaz the widest limits within which to make hischoice.12. neither … tempt—hypocritical pretext of keeping the law (De 6:16); "tempt," that is, putGod to the proof, as in Mt 4:7, by seeking His miraculous interposition without warrant. But herethere was the warrant of the prophet of God; to have asked a sign, when thus offered, would nothave been a tempting of God. Ahaz' true reason for declining was his resolve not to do God's will,but to negotiate with Assyria, and persevere in his idolatry (2Ki 16:7, 8, 3, 4, 10). Men often excusetheir distrust in God, and trust in their own devices, by professed reverence for God. Ahaz mayhave fancied that though Jehovah was the God of Judea and could work a sign there, that was noproof that the local god of Syria might not be more powerful. Such was the common heathen notion(Isa 10:10, 11; 36:18-20).13. Is it a small thing?—Is it not enough for you (Nu 16:9)? The allusion to "David" is in orderto contrast his trust in God with his degenerate descendant Ahaz' distrust.weary—try the patience—prophets. Isaiah as yet had given no outward proof that he was from God; but now Godhas offered a sign, which Ahaz publicly rejects. The sin is therefore now not merely against "men,"but openly against "God." Isaiah's manner therefore changes from mildness to bold reproof.14. himself—since thou wilt not ask a sign, nay, rejectest the offer of—for the sake of the house of believing "David" (God remembering His everlasting covenantwith David), not for unbelieving Ahaz' sake.1069JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonBehold—arresting attention to the extraordinary—from a root, "to lie hid," virgins being closely kept from men's gaze in their parents'custody in the East. The Hebrew, and the Septuagint here, and Greek (Mt 1:23), have the article,the virgin, some definite one known to the speaker and his hearers; primarily, the woman, then avirgin, about immediately to become the second wife, and bear a child, whose attainment of theage of discrimination (about three years) should be preceded by the deliverance of Judah from itstwo invaders; its fullest significancy is realized in "the woman" (Ge 3:15), whose seed should bruisethe serpent's head and deliver captive man (Jer 31:22; Mic 5:3). Language is selected such as, whilepartially applicable to the immediate event, receives its fullest, most appropriate, and exhaustiveaccomplishment in Messianic events. The New Testament application of such prophecies is not astrained "accommodation"; rather the temporary fulfilment of an adaptation of the far-reachingprophecy to the present passing event, which foreshadows typically the great central end of prophecy,Jesus Christ (Re 19:10). Evidently the wording is such as to apply more fully to Jesus Christ thanto the prophet's son; "virgin" applies, in its simplest sense, to the Virgin Mary, rather than to theprophetess who ceased to be a virgin when she "conceived"; "Immanuel," God with us (Joh 1:14;Re 21:3), cannot in a strict sense apply to Isaiah's son, but only to Him who is presently calledexpressly (Isa 9:6), "the Child, the Son, Wonderful (compare Isa 8:18), the mighty God." Localand temporary features (as in Isa 7:15, 16) are added in every type; otherwise it would be no type,but the thing itself. There are resemblances to the great Antitype sufficient to be recognized bythose who seek them; dissimilarities enough to confound those who do not desire to discover—that is, "she shall," or as Margin, "thou, O Virgin, shalt call;" mothers often named theirchildren (Ge 4:1, 25; 19:37; 29:32). In Mt 1:23 the expression is strikingly changed into, "Theyshall call"; when the prophecy received its full accomplishment, no longer is the name Immanuelrestricted to the prophetess' view of His character, as in its partial fulfilment in her son; all shallthen call (that is, not literally), or regard Him as peculiarly and most fitly characterized by thedescriptive name, "Immanuel" (1Ti 3:16; Col 2:9).name—not mere appellation, which neither Isaiah's son nor Jesus Christ bore literally; but whatdescribes His manifested attributes; His character (so Isa 9:6). The name in its proper destinationwas not arbitrary, but characteristic of the individual; sin destroyed the faculty of perceiving theinternal being; hence the severance now between the name and the character; in the case of JesusChrist and many in Scripture, the Holy Ghost has supplied this want [Olshausen].15. Butter—rather, curdled milk, the acid of which is grateful in the heat of the East (Job 20:17).honey—abundant in Palestine (Jud 14:8; 1Sa 14:25; Mt 3:4). Physicians directed that the firstfood given to a child should be honey, the next milk [Barnabas, Epistle]. Horsley takes this as implyingthe real humanity of the Immanuel Jesus Christ, about to be fed as other infants (Lu 2:52). Isa 7:22shows that besides the fitness of milk and honey for children, a state of distress of the inhabitantsis also implied, when, by reason of the invaders, milk and honey, things produced spontaneously,shall be the only abundant articles of food [Maurer].that he may know—rather, until He shall know.evil … choose … good—At about three years of age moral consciousness begins (compare Isa8:4; De 1:39; Jon 4:11).16. For—The deliverance implied in the name "Immanuel," and the cessation of distress as tofood (Isa 7:14, 15), shall last only till the child grows to know good and evil;1070JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor … the land that … abhorrest … forsaken of … kings—rather, desolate shall be the land,before whose two kings thou art alarmed [Hengstenberg and Gesenius].the land—namely, Syria and Samaria regarded as one (2Ki 16:9; 15:30), just two years afterthis prophecy, as it foretells. Horsley takes it, "The land (Judah and Samaria) of (the former of) whichthou art the plague (literally, 'thorn') shall be forsaken," &c.; a prediction thus, that Judah and Israel(appropriately regarded as one "land") should cease to be kingdoms (Lu 2:1; Ge 49:10) beforeImmanuel came.Isa 7:17-25. Fatal Consequences of Ahaz' Assyrian Policy.Though temporary deliverance (Isa 7:16; 8:4) was to be given then, and final deliverance throughMessiah, sore punishment shall follow the former. After subduing Syria and Israel, the Assyriansshall encounter Egypt (2Ki 23:29), and Judah shall be the battlefield of both (Isa 7:18), and be madetributary to that very Assyria (2Ch 28:20; 2Ki 16:7, 8) now about to be called in as an ally (Isa39:1-6). Egypt, too, should prove a fatal ally (Isa 36:6; 31:1, &c.).18. hiss—whistle, to bring bees to settle (see on Isa 5:26).fly—found in numbers about the arms of the Nile and the canals from it (Isa 19:5-7; 23:3), herecalled "rivers." Hence arose the plague of flies (Ex 8:21). Figurative, for numerous and troublesomefoes from the remotest parts of Egypt, for example, Pharaoh-nechoh.bee—(De 1:44; Ps 118:12). As numerous in Assyria as the fly in marshy Egypt. Sennacherib,Esar-haddon, and Nebuchadnezzar fulfilled this prediction.19. rest—image of flies and bees kept up. The enemy shall overspread the land everywhere,even in "desolate valleys."thorns—wild, contrasted with "bushes," which were valued and objects of care (see Margin).20. razor—The Assyrians are to be God's instrument of devastating Judea, just as a razor sweepsaway all hair before it (Isa 10:5; Eze 29:19, 20).hired—alluding to Ahaz' hiring (2Ki 16:7, 8) Tiglath-pileser against Syria and Israel; namely,by them beyond the river—namely, the Euphrates; the eastern boundary of Jewish geographicalknowledge (Ps 72:8); the river which Abram crossed; the Nile also may be included (Isa 7:18) [G.V. Smith]. Gesenius translates, "With a razor hired in the parts beyond the river."head … feet—the whole body, including the most honored parts. To cut the "beard" is thegreatest indignity to an Easterner (Isa 50:6; 2Sa 10:4, 5; Eze 5:1).Isa 7:21-25. The Coming Desolate State of the Land Owing to the Assyrians and Egyptians.21. nourish—that is, own.young cow—a heifer giving milk. Agriculture shall cease, and the land become one greatpasturage.22. abundance—by reason of the wide range of land lying desolate over which the cows andsheep (including goats) may range.butter—thick milk, or cream.honey—(See on Isa 7:15). Food of spontaneous growth will be the resource of the few inhabitantsleft. Honey shall be abundant as the bees will find the wild flowers abounding everywhere.23. where there were, &c.—where up to that time there was so valuable a vineyard as to havein it a 1000 vines, worth a silverling (shekel, about 2s. 3d.; a large price) each, there shall be onlybriers (So 8:11). Vineyards are estimated by the number of the vines, and the goodness of the kindof vine. Judea admits of a high state of cultivation, and requires it, in order to be productive; itspresent barrenness is due to neglect.1071JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson24. It shall become a vast hunting ground, abounding in wild beasts (compare Jer 49:19).25. shall be—rather, "were once."digged—in order to plant and rear vines (Isa 5:6).there shall not come—that is, none shall come who fear thorns, seeing that thorns shall aboundon all sides [Maurer]. Otherwise, "Thou shalt not come for fear of thorns" [Gesenius]. Only cattle shallbe able to penetrate the briery ground.lesser cattle—sheep and goats.CHAPTER 8Isa 8:1-9:7.The first seven verses of the ninth chapter belong to this section. The eighth chapter continuesthe subject of the seventh chapter, but at a later period (compare Isa 8:4 with Isa 7:16); implyingthat the interval till the accomplishment is shorter now than then. The tone of Isa 8:17, 21, 22,expresses calamity more immediate and afflictive than Isa 7:4, 15, 22.1. great—suitable, for letters large enough to be read by all.roll—rather, tablet of wood, metal, or stone (Isa 30:8; Hab 2:2); sometimes coated with wax,upon which characters were traced with a pointed instrument, or iron stylus; skins and papyruswere also used (Isa 19:7).man's pen—that is, in ordinary characters which the humblest can read (so Hab 2:2). Hebrew,enosh means a "common man," is contrasted with the upper ranks (Re 21:17; Ro 3:5). Not inhieroglyphics. The object was that, after the event, all might see that it had been predicted by Isaiah.concerning—the title and subject of the prophecy.Maher-shalal-hash-baz—"They (that is, the Assyrians) hasten to the spoil (namely, to spoilSyria and Samaria), they speed to the prey" [Gesenius]. Otherwise, "The spoil (that is, spoiler) hastens,the rapine speeds forward" [Maurer].2. I took—rather, "The Lord said to me, that I should take," &c. [Maurer].Uriah—an accomplice of Ahaz in idolatry, and therefore a witness not likely to assist theprophet of God in getting up a prophecy after the event (2Ki 16:10). The witnesses were in orderthat when the event should come, they might testify that the tablet containing the prophecy hadbeen inscribed with it at the time that it professed.Zechariah—(2Ch 29:13).3. prophetess—perhaps the same as the "virgin" (Isa 7:14), in the interim married as Isaiah'ssecond wife: this is in the primary and temporary sense. Immanuel is even in this sense distinctfrom Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Thus nineteen months at least intervene from the prophecy (Isa 7:14),nine before the birth of Immanuel, and ten from that time to the birth of Maher-shalal-hash-baz:adding eleven or twelve months before the latter could cry, "Father" (Isa 8:4), we have about threeyears in all, agreeing with Isa 7:15, 16.4. before, &c.—within a year.6. waters of Shiloah … softly—Their source is on the southeast of Zion and east of Jerusalem.It means "sent," the water being sent through an aqueduct (Joh 9:7). Figurative for the mild, thoughnow weak, sway of the house of David; in the highest sense Shiloah expresses the benignant swayof Jehovah in the theocracy, administered through David. Contrast to the violent Euphrates, "the1072JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonriver" that typifies Assyria (Isa 8:7; Re 17:15). "This people" refers both to Israel, which preferredan alliance with Rezin of Syria to one with the kings of Judah, and to Judah, a party in which seemsto have favored the pretentions of the son of Tabeal against David's line (Isa 7:6); also to Judah'sdesire to seek an Assyrian alliance is included in the censure (compare Isa 7:17). Isa 8:14 showsthat both nations are meant; both alike rejected the divine Shiloah. Not "My people," as elsewhere,when God expresses favor, but "this people" (Isa 6:9).7. therefore—for the reason given in Isa 8:6, the Assyrian flood, which is first to overfloodSyria and Samaria, shall rise high enough to reach rebel Judah also (Isa 8:8).the river—Euphrates swollen in spring by the melting of the snow of the Armenian mountains(compare Isa 8:6; Isa 7:20).all his glory—Eastern kings travel with a gorgeous retinue.channels—natural and artificial in the level region, Mesopotamia.8. pass through—The flood shall not stop at Syria and Samaria, but shall penetrate into Judea.the neck—When the waters reach to the neck, a man is near drowning; still the head is not saidto be overflowed. Jerusalem, elevated on hills, is the head. The danger shall be so imminent as toreach near it at Sennacherib's invasion in Hezekiah's reign; but it shall be spared (Isa 30:28).wings—the extreme bands of the Assyrian armies, fulfilled (Isa 36:1; 37:25).thy land, O Immanuel—Though temporarily applied to Isaiah's son, in the full sense this isapplicable only to Messiah, that Judea is His, was, and still is, a pledge that, however sorelyoverwhelmed, it shall be saved at last; the "head" is safe even now, waiting for the times ofrestoration (Ac 1:6); at the same time these words imply that, notwithstanding the temporarydeliverance from Syria and Israel, implied in "Immanuel," the greatest calamities are to follow toJudah.9. Associate yourselves—rather, "Raise tumults," or, Rage, that is, Do your worst [Maurer],referring perhaps to the attack of Rezin and Pekah on Jerusalem.and … be broken in pieces—rather, "yet ye shall be thrown into consternation." Imperativein the Hebrew, according to the idiom whereby the second of two imperatives implies the future,namely, the consequence of the action contained in the first (so Isa 6:9). The name "Immanuel" inIsa 8:8 (compare Isa 8:10) suggests the thought of the ultimate safety of Immanuel's land, bothfrom its present two invaders, and even from the Assyrians, notwithstanding the grievous flood,wherewith the previous verses foretell they shall deluge it. The succession of the house of Davidcannot be set aside in Judah, for Immanuel Messiah is to be born in it as heir of David, of whomIsaiah's son is but a type (Isa 9:4, 6).give ear … far countries—witness the discomfiture of Judah's enemies. The prophecy probablylooks on also to the final conspiracy of Antichrist and his supporters against the Heir of David'sthrone in the latter days and their utter overthrow [Horsley].gird yourselves … gird yourselves—The repetition expresses vehemently the certainty oftheir being thrown into consternation (not as English Version, "broken in pieces").10. the word—of command, for the assault of Jerusalem.God is with us—"Immanuel" implies this (Nu 14:9; Ps 46:7).11. with a strong hand—or else, "when He grasped me with His hand" [Horsley]. Maurer, asEnglish Version, "with the impetus of His hand," that is, the felt impulse of His inspiration in mymind (Jer 15:17; Eze 1:3; 3:14, 22; 37:1).1073JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonway of … people—their distrust of Jehovah, and the panic which led them and Ahab to seekAssyrian aid.12-16. The words of Jehovah.confederacy—rather, a conspiracy; an appropriate term for the unnatural combination of Israelwith Syrian foreigners against Judea and the theocracy, to which the former was bound by ties ofblood and hereditary religion [Maurer].to all … say—rather, of all which this people calleth a conspiracy [G. V. Smith].their fear—namely, object of fear: the hostile afraid—rather [Maurer], "nor make others to be afraid."13. Sanctify—Honor His holy name by regarding Him as your only hope of safety (Isa 29:23;Nu 20:12).him … fear—"fear" lest you provoke His wrath by your fear of man and distrust of Him.14. sanctuary—inviolable asylum, like the altar of the temple (1Ki 1:50; 2:28; Eze 11:16;compare Pr 18:10); namely, to those who fear and trust in Him.but … offence—that is, a rock over which they should fall to their hurt; namely those whowould not believe.both … houses—Israel and Judah. Here again the prophecy expands beyond the temporaryapplication in Ahaz' time. The very stone, Immanuel, which would have been a sanctuary on belief,becomes a fatal stumbling-block through unbelief. Jesus Christ refers to this in Mt 21:44. (CompareDe 32:4, 15, 18, 30, 31, 37; Da 2:34; Ro 9:33; 1Pe 2:8).gin—trap, in which birds are unexpectedly caught (Lu 21:35; 1Th 5:2). So at the destructionof Jerusalem under Titus.15. stumble … taken—images from the means used in taking wild animals.16. Bind up … seal—What Isaiah had before briefly noted by inscribing Maher-shalal-hash-bazin a tablet, fixed up in some public place, he afterwards wrote out more in detail in a parchmentroll (Isa 30:8); this he is now to seal up, not merely in order that nothing may be added to, or takenfrom it, as being complete, but to imply that it relates to distant events, and is therefore to be asealed and not understood testimony (Isa 6:9, 10), except in part among God's "disciples," that is,those who "sanctify the Lord" by obedient trust (Ps 25:14). Subsequent revelations would afterwardsclear up what now was dark. So the Apocalypse explains what in Daniel was left unexplained(compare Da 8:26; 12:9). "The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end"; but Re22:10, "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy … for the time is at hand" (compare Re 5:1, 5, 9),testimony—attested by Uriah and Zechariah (Isa 8:2).law—the revelation just given, having the force of a law.disciples—not as Maurer, Uriah and Zechariah (compare Joh 7:17; 15:15).17. I—Whatever the rest of the nation may do, I will look to Jehovah alone.that hideth … face—though He seems now to withdraw His countenance from Judah (thethen representative of "the house of Jacob"). Let us wait and trust in, though we cannot see, Him(Isa 50:10; 54:8; Hab 2:3; Lu 2:25, 38).18. I and the children—Isaiah means "salvation of Jehovah"; His children's names, also (Isa7:3, 14; 8:3), were "signs" suggestive of the coming and final deliverance.wonders—that is, symbols of the future (Isa 20:3; Zec 3:8). "Behold I … me" is quoted in Heb2:13 to prove the manhood of the Messiah. This is the main and ultimate fulfilment of the prophecy;its temporary meaning is applied to Ahaz' time. Isaiah typically, in Isa 8:17, 18, personates Messiah,1074JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwho is at once "Father" and "Son," Isaiah and Immanuel, "Child" and "Mighty God," and is thereforecalled here a "wonder," as in Isa 9:6, "Wonderful." Hence in Heb 2:13, believers are called His"children"; but in Isa 8:11, 12, His "brethren." On "the Lord hath given me," see Joh 6:37, 39;10:29; 17:12.which dwelleth in … Zion—and will therefore protect Jerusalem.19. Seek unto—Consult in your national difficulties.them … familiar spirits—necromancers, spirit charmers. So Saul, when he had forsaken God(1Sa 28:7, &c.), consulted the witch of En-dor in his difficulties. These follow in the wake ofidolatry, which prevailed under Ahaz (2Ki 16:3, 4, 10). He copied the soothsaying as he did theidolatrous "altar" of Damascus (compare Le 20:6, which forbids it, Isa 19:3).wizards—men claiming supernatural knowledge; from the old English, "to wit," that is, know.peep—rather "chirp faintly," as young birds do; this sound was generally ascribed to departedspirits; by ventriloquism the soothsayers caused a low sound to proceed as from a grave, or deadperson. Hence the Septuagint renders the Hebrew for "necromancers" here "ventriloquists" (compareIsa 29:4).mutter—moan.should not, &c.—The answer which Isaiah recommends to be given to those advising to haverecourse to necromancers.for the living, &c.—"should one, for the safety of the living, seek unto (consult) the dead?"[Gesenius]. Lowth renders it, "In place of (consulting) the living, should one consult the dead?"20. To the law, &c.—the revelation of God by His prophet (Isa 8:16), to which he directs themto refer those who would advise necromancy.if they speak not … it is because—English Version understands "they" as the necromancers.But the Hebrew rendered "because" is not this but "who"; and "if not," ought rather to be "shallthey not"; or, truly they shall speak according to this word, who have no morning light (so theHebrew, that is, prosperity after the night of sorrows) dawning on them [Maurer and G. V. Smith].They who are in the dark night of trial, without a dawn of hope, shall surely say so, Do not seek,as we did, to necromancy, but to the law," &c. The law perhaps includes here the law of Moses,which was the "Magna Charta" on which prophetism commented [Kitto].21, 22. More detailed description of the despair, which they shall fall into, who soughtnecromancy instead of God; Isa 8:20 implies that too late they shall see how much better it wouldhave been for them to have sought "to the law," &c. (De 32:31). But now they are given over todespair. Therefore, while seeing the truth of God, they only "curse their King and God";foreshadowing the future, like conduct of those belonging to the "kingdom of the beast," when theyshall be visited with divine plagues (Re 16:11; compare Jer 18:12).through it—namely, the land.hardly bestead—oppressed with anxiety.hungry—a more grievous famine than the temporary one in Ahaz' time, owing to Assyria; thenthere was some food, but none now (Isa 7:15, 22; Le 26:3-5, 14-16, 20).their king … God—Jehovah, King of the Jews (Ps 5:2; 68:24).look upward … unto the earth—Whether they look up to heaven, or down towards the landof Judea, nothing but despair shall present itself.dimness of anguish—darkness of distress (Pr 1:27).1075JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondriven to darkness—rather, "thick darkness" (Jer 23:12). Driven onward, as by a sweepingstorm. The Jewish rejection of "their King and God," Messiah, was followed by all these awfulcalamities.CHAPTER 9Isa 9:1-7. Continuation of the Prophecy in the Eighth Chapter.1. Nevertheless, &c.—rather, "For darkness shall not (continually) be on it (that is, the land)on which there is (now) distress" [Hengstenberg and Maurer]. The "for" refers, not to the wordsimmediately preceding, but to the consolations in Isa 8:9, 10, 17, 18. Do not despair, for, &c.when at the first, &c.—rather, "as the former time has brought contempt on the land of Zebulunand Naphtali (namely, the deportation of their inhabitants under Tiglath-pileser, 2Ki 15:29, a littlebefore the giving of this prophecy); so shall the after-coming time bring honor to the way of thesea (the district around the lake of Galilee), the land beyond (but Hengstenberg, "by the side of")Jordan (Perea, east of Jordan, belonging to Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh), the circle (butHengstenberg, "Galilee") (that is, region) of the "Gentiles" [Maurer, Hengstenberg, &c.]. Galil in Hebrewis a "circle," "circuit," and from it came the name Galilee. North of Naphtali, inhabited by a mixedrace of Jews and Gentiles of the bordering Phoenician race (Jud 1:30; 1Ki 9:11). Besides the recentdeportation by Tiglath-pileser, it had been sorely smitten by Ben-hadad of Syria, two hundred yearsbefore (1Ki 15:20). It was after the Assyrian deportation colonized with heathens, by Esar-haddon(2Ki 17:24). Hence arose the contempt for it on the part of the southern Jews of purer blood (Joh1:46; 7:52). The same region which was so darkened once, shall be among the first to receiveMessiah's light (Mt 4:13, 15, 16). It was in despised Galilee that He first and most publicly exercisedHis ministry; from it were most of His apostles. Foretold in De 33:18, 19; Ac 2:7; Ps 68:27, 28,Jerusalem, the theocratic capital, might readily have known Messiah; to compensate less favoredGalilee, He ministered mostly there; Galilee's very debasement made it feel its need of a Saviour,a feeling not known to the self-righteous Jews (Mt 9:13). It was appropriate, too, that He who wasboth "the Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of His people Israel," should minister chieflyon the border land of Israel, near the Gentiles.2. the people—the whole nation, Judah and Israel.shadow of death—the darkest misery of captivity.3. multiplied … nation—primarily, the rapid increase of Israelites after the return from Babylon;more fully and exhaustively the rapid spread of Christianity at first.not increased the joy—By a slight change in the Hebrew, its (joy) is substituted by some fornot, because "not increased the joy" seems opposite to what immediately follows, "the joy," &c.Hengstenberg, retains not thus: "Whose joy thou hadst not increased," (that is, hadst diminished).Others, "Hast thou not increased the joy?" The very difficulty of the reading, not, makes it lesslikely to be an interpolation. Horsley best explains it: The prophet sees in vision a shifting scene,comprehending at one glance the history of the Christian Church to remotest times—a land darkand thinly peopled—lit up by a sudden light—filled with new inhabitants—then struggling withdifficulties, and again delivered by the utter and final overthrow of their enemies. The influx ofGentile converts (represented here by "Galilee of the Gentiles") soon was to be followed by thegrowth of corruption, and the final rise of Antichrist, who is to be destroyed, while God's people1076JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonis delivered, as in the case of Gideon's victory over Midian, not by man's prowess, but by the specialinterposition of God.before thee—a phrase taken from sacrificial feasts; the tithe of harvest was eaten before God(De 12:7; 14:26).as men rejoice … divide … spoil—referring to the judgments on the enemies of the Lord andHis people, which usually accompany revelations of His grace.4. The occasion of the "joy," the deliverance not only of Ahaz and Judah from the Assyriantribute (2Ki 16:8), and of Israel's ten tribes from the oppressor (2Ki 15:19), but of the JewishChristian Church from its last great enemy.hast—the past time for the future, in prophetic vision; it expresses the certainty of the event.yoke of his burden—the yoke with which he was burdened.staff of … shoulder—the staff which strikes his shoulder [Maurer]; or the wood, like a yoke,on the neck of slaves, the badge of servitude [Rosenmuller].day of Midian—(Jud 7:8-22). As Gideon with a handful of men conquered the hosts of Midian,so Messiah the "child" (Isa 9:6) shall prove to be the "Prince of peace," and the small Israel underHim shall overcome the mighty hosts of Antichrist (compare Mic 5:2-5), containing the samecontrast, and alluding also to "the Assyrian," the then enemy of the Church, as here in Isaiah, thetype of the last great enemy. For further analogies between Gideon's victory and the Gospel, compare2Co 4:7, with Jud 7:22. As the "dividing of the spoil" (Isa 9:3) was followed by that which was"not joy," the making of the idolatrous ephod (Jud 8:24-27), so the gospel victory was soon followedby apostasy at the first, and shall be so again after the millennial overthrow of Antichrist (Re 20:3,7-9), previous to Satan's last doom (Re 20:10).5. every battle, &c.—rather, "every greave of (the warrior who is) armed with greaves in thedin of battle, and the martial garment (or cloak, called by the Latins sagum) rolled in blood, shallbe for burning, (and) fuel for fire" [Maurer]. All warlike accoutrements shall be destroyed, as nolonger required in the new era of peace (Isa 2:4; 11:6, 7; Ps 46:9; Eze 39:9; Mic 5:5, 10; Zec 9:9,10). Compare Mal 4:1, as to the previous burning up of the wicked.6. For—the ground of these great expectations,unto us—for the benefit of the Jews first, and then the Gentiles (compare "unto you," Lu 2:11).son … given—(Ps 2:7). God's gratuitous gift, on which man had no claim (Joh 3:16; Ro 6:23).government … upon … shoulder—The ensign of office used to be worn on the shoulder, intoken of sustaining the government (Isa 22:22). Here the government on Messiah's shoulder is inmarked antithesis to the "yoke and staff" of the oppressor on Israel's "shoulder" (Isa 9:4). He shallreceive the kingdom of the earth from the Father, to vindicate it from the misrule of those to whomit was entrusted to hold it for and under the Most High, but who sought to hold it in defiance ofHis right; the Father asserts His right by the Son, the "Heir of all things," who will hold it for Him(Da 7:13, 14).name … called—His essential characteristics shall be.Wonderful—(See on Isa 8:18; Jud 13:18, Margin; 1Ti 3:16).Counsellor—(Ps 16:7; Ro 11:33, 34; 1Co 1:24; Col 2:3).mighty God—(Isa 10:21; Ps 24:8; Tit 2:13) Horsley translates: "God the mighty man." "Untous … God" is equivalent to "Immanuel" (Isa 7:14).1077JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneverlasting Father—This marks Him as "Wonderful," that He is "a child," yet the "everlastingFather" (Joh 10:30; 14:9). Earthly kings leave their people after a short reign; He will reign overand bless them for ever [Hengstenberg].Prince of Peace—(See on Isa 9:5; Ge 49:10; Shiloh, "The Tranquillizer"). Finally (Ho 2:18).Even already He is "our peace" (Lu 2:14; Eph 2:14).7. Of … increase … no end—His princely rule shall perpetually increase and be unlimited(Da 2:44).throne of David—(1Ki 8:25; Ps 2:6; 132:11; Jer 3:17, 18 Eze 34:23-26; 37:16, 22; Lu 1:32,33; Ac 2:30).judgment … justice—It is not a kingdom of mere might, and triumph of force over enemies,but of righteousness (Isa 42:21; Ps 45:6, 7), attainable only in and by Messiah.zeal, &c.—including not only Christ's hidden spiritual victory over Satan at the first coming,but the open one accompanied with "judgments" on Antichrist and every enemy at the secondcoming (Isa 59:17; Ps 9:6-8).Isa 9:8-10:4. Prophecy as to the Ten Tribes.Delivered a little later than the previous one. The ninth and tenth chapters ought to have beenso divided. The present division into chapters was made by Cardinal Hugo, in A.D. 1250; and intoverses, by Robert Stephens, the famous printer of Paris, in 1551. After the Assyrian invasion ofSyria, that of Ephraim shall follow (2Ki 16:9); Isa 9:8-11, 17-20, foretell the intestine discords inIsrael after Hoshea had slain Pekah (A.D. 739), that is, just after the Assyrian invasions, when forseven years it was stripped of magistrates and torn into factions. There are four strophes, eachsetting forth Ephraim's crime and consequent punishment, and ending with the formula, "For allthis His anger is not turned away," &c. (Isa 9:12, 17, 21, and Isa 10:4).8. Heading of the prophecy; (Isa 9:8-12), the first strophe.unto Jacob—against the ten tribes [Lowth].lighted upon—fallen from heaven by divine revelation (Da 4:31).9. know—to their cost: experimentally (Ho 9:7).Samaria—the capital of Ephraim (compare as to phrase, Isa 1:1).10. bricks—in the East generally sun-dried, and therefore soon dissolved by rain. Granting,say the Ephraimites to the prophet's threat, that our affairs are in a ruinous state, we will restorethem to more than their former magnificence. Self-confident unwillingness to see the judgmentsof God (Isa 26:11).hewn stones—(1Ki 5:17).sycamores—growing abundantly on the low lands of Judea, and though useful for building onaccount of their antiseptic property (which induced the Egyptians to use them for the cases of theirmummies), not very valuable. The cedar, on the other hand, was odorous, free from knots, durable,and precious (1Ki 10:27). "We will replace cottages with palaces."11. adversaries of Rezin—the Assyrians, who shall first attack Damascus, shall next advance"against him" (Ephraim). This is the punishment of Ephraim's pride in making light (Isa 9:10) ofthe judgment already inflicted by God through Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 15:29). A second Assyrianinvasion (see on Isa 7:1) shall follow. The reading "princes" for "adversaries" in uncalled for.join—rather, "arm"; cover with armor [Maurer].his—Rezin's.1078JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. Syrians—Though now allies of Ephraim, after Rezin's death they shall join the Assyriansagainst Ephraim. "Together," in Isa 9:11, refers to this. Conquering nations often enlist in theirarmies the subject races (Isa 22:6; compare 2Ki 16:9; Jer 35:11), [Aben Ezra, Gesenius]. Horsley lessprobably takes "Syrians before," as the Syrians to the east, that is, not Rezin's subjects, but theAssyrians: "Aram" being the common name of Syrians and Assyrians.Philistines—of Palestine.behind—from the west: in marking the points of the compass, Orientalists face the east, whichis before them: the west is behind. The right hand is the south: the left, the north.devour—as a ravenous beast (Isa 1:20; Jer 10:25; 30:16; Nu 14:9).For all this, &c.—The burden of each strophe.13-17. Second strophe.turneth not—the design of God's chastisements; not fulfilled in their case; a new cause forpunishment (Jer 2:20; 5:3).14. head and tail—proverbial for the highest and lowest (De 28:13, 44).branch and rush—another image for the same thought (Isa 19:15). The branch is elevated onthe top of the tree: the rush is coarse and low.15. ancient—the older.honourable—the man of rank.prophet … lies, … tail—There were many such in Samaria (1Ki 22:6, 22, 23; compare as to"tail," Re 9:19).16. leaders, &c.—(See Isa 3:12, Margin, and see on Isa 3:12.)17. no joy—the parallelism, "neither … mercy," shows that this means, He shall have no suchdelight in their youthful warriors, however much they be the nation's delight and reliance, as tosave them from the enemy's sword (Isa 31:8; compare Jer 18:21).fatherless, &c.—not even the usual objects of His pity (Ps 10:14, 18; 68:5; Jer 49:11; Ho 14:3)shall be spared.hypocrite—rather, a libertine, polluted [Horsley].folly—wickedness (Ps 14:1).still—Notwithstanding all these judgments, more remain.18-21. Third strophe.burneth—maketh consumption, not only spreading rapidly, but also consuming like fire: sinis its own punishment.briers … thorns—emblem of the wicked; especially those of low rank (Isa 27:4; 2Sa 23:6).forest—from the humble shrubbery the flame spreads to the vast forest; it reaches the high, aswell as the low.mount up like … smoke—rather. "They (the thickets of the forest) shall lift themselves proudlyaloft [the Hebrew is from a Syriac root, a cock, expressing stateliness of motion, from his struttinggait, Horsley], in (in passing into) volumes of ascending smoke" [Maurer].19. darkened—namely, with smoke (Isa 9:18). The Septuagint and Chaldee render it, "is burntup," so Maurer, from an Arabic root meaning "suffocating heat."no man … spare … brother—intestine discord snapping asunder the dearest ties of nature.20. hungry—not literally. Image from unappeasable hunger, to picture internal factions, recklessof the most tender ties (Isa 9:19), and insatiably spreading misery and death on every side (Jer19:9).1079JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneat—not literally, but destroy (Ps 27:2; Job 19:22).flesh of … arm—those nearest akin: their former support (helper) (Isa 32:2) [Maurer].21. Manasseh, Ephraim—the two sons of Joseph. So closely united as to form between thembut one tribe; but now about to be rent into factions, thirsting for each other's blood. Disunited inall things else, but united "together against their brother Judah" (2Ki 15:10, 30).CHAPTER 10Isa 10:1-4. Fourth strophe.1. them that decree—namely, unrighteous judges.write grievousness, &c.—not the scribes, but the magistrates who caused unjust decisions(literally, "injustice" or "grievousness") to be recorded by them (Isa 65:6) [Maurer], (Isa 1:10, 23).2. To turn aside, &c.—The effect of their conduct is to pervert the cause of the needy [Horsley].In English Version "from judgment" means "from obtaining justice."take away the right—"make plunder of the right" (rightful claim) [Horsley].3. what will ye do—what way of escape will there be for you?visitation—of God's wrath (Isa 26:14; Job 35:15; Ho 9:7).from far—from Assyria.leave … glory—rather, "deposit (for safekeeping) your wealth" [Lowth]. So Ps 49:17.4. Without me—not having Me to "flee to" (Isa 10:3).bow down—Bereft of strength they shall fall; or else, they shall lie down fettered.under … under—rather, "among" (literally, "in the place of") [Horsley]. The "under" may be,however, explained, "trodden under the (feet of the) prisoners going into captivity," and"overwhelmed under the heaps of slain on the battlefield" [Maurer].Isa 10:5-34 and Isa 11:12. Destruction of the Assyrians; Coming of Messiah; Hymn of Praise.Isa 10:9, 11 show that Samaria was destroyed before this prophecy. It was written when Assyriaproposed (a design which it soon after tried to carry out under Sennacherib) to destroy Judah andJerusalem, as it had destroyed Samaria. This is the first part of Isaiah's prophecies under Hezekiah.Probably between 722 and 715 B.C. (see Isa 10:27).5. O Assyrian, &c.—rather, "What, ho (but Maurer, Woe to the) Assyrian! He is the rod andstaff of Mine anger (My instrument in punishing, Jer 51:20; Ps 17:13). In their hands is Mineindignation" [Horsley, after Jerome]. I have put into the Assyrians' hands the execution of Mineindignation against My people.6. send him—"Kings' hearts are in the hand of the Lord" (Pr 21:1).hypocritical—polluted [Horsley].nation—Judah, against whom Sennacherib was forming designs.of my wrath—objects of My wrath.give … charge—(Jer 34:22).and to tread, &c.—Horsley translates: "And then to make him (the Assyrian) a trampling underfoot like the mire of the streets" (so Isa 10:12; Isa 33:1; Zec 10:5). But see Isa 37:26.7. meaneth not so—He is only thinking of his own schemes, while God is overruling them toHis purposes.1080JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthink—intend. Sinners' plans are no less culpable, though they by them unconsciously fulfilGod's designs (Ps 76:10; Mic 4:12). So Joseph's brethren (Ge 50:20; Pr 16:4). The sinner's motive,not the result (which depends on God), will be the test in judgment.heart to destroy … not a few—Sennacherib's ambition was not confined to Judea. His planwas also to conquer Egypt and Ethiopia (Isa 20:1-6; Zec 1:15).8-11. Vauntings of the Assyrians. Illustrated by the self-laudatory inscriptions of Assyriadeciphered by Hincks.princes … kings—Eastern satraps and governors of provinces often had the title and diademof kings. Hence the title, "King of kings," implying the greatness of Him who was over them (Eze26:7; Ezr 7:12).9. Is not … as—Was there any one of these cities able to withstand me? Not one. So Rab-shakehvaunts (Isa 36:19).Calno—Calneh, built by Nimrod (Ge 10:10), once his capital, on the Tigris.Carchemish—Circesium, on the Euphrates. Taken afterwards by Necho, king of Egypt; andretaken by Nebuchadnezzar: by the Euphrates (Jer 46:2).Hamath—in Syria, north of Canaan (Ge 10:18). Taken by Assyria about 753 B.C. From itcolonists were planted by Assyria in Samaria.Arpad—near Hamath.Samaria—now overthrown.Damascus—(Isa 17:1, 3).10, 11. found—unable to resist me: hath overcome (so Ps 21:8).and whose—rather, "and their." This clause, down to "Samaria," is parenthetical.excel—were more powerful. He regards Jerusalem as idolatrous, an opinion which it often hadgiven too much ground for: Jehovah was in his view the mere local god of Judea, as Baal of thecountries where it was adored, nay, inferior in power to some national gods (Isa 36:19, 20; 37:12).See in opposition, Isa 37:20; 46:1.As my hand … shall I not, as I have—a double protasis. Agitation makes one accumulatesentences.12. whole work—His entire plan is regard to the punishment of the Jews (Isa 10:5-7).Zion—the royal residence, the court, princes and nobles; as distinguished from "Jerusalem,"the people in general.fruit—the result of, that is, the plants emanating from.stout—Hebrew, "greatness of," that is, pride of.glory—haughtiness.13. I am prudent—He ascribes his success to his own prudence, not to God's providence.removed the bounds—set aside old, and substituted new boundaries of kingdoms at will. Acriminal act, as Jehovah Himself had appointed the boundaries of the nations (De 32:8).treasures—"hoarded treasures" [Horsley].put down … inhabitants like, &c.—rather, "as a valiant man, I have brought down (from theirseats) those seated" (namely, "on thrones"; as in Ps 2:4; 29:10; 55:19). The Hebrew for "He thatabideth," is He that sitteth on a throne); otherwise, "I have brought down (as captives into Assyria,which lay lower than Judea; therefore 'brought down,' compare Isa 36:1, 10), the inhabitants"[Maurer].14. nest—implying the ease with which he carried off all before him.1081JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonleft—by the parent bird.none … moved … wing—image from an angry bird resisting the robbery of its "nest."peeped—chirped even low (Isa 8:19). No resistance was offered me, of deed, or even word.15. Shall the instrument boast against Him who uses it? Through free in a sense, and carryingout his own plans, the Assyrian was unconsciously carrying out God's purposes.shaketh it—moves it back and forward.staff … lift … itself … no wood—rather, "as if the staff (man, the instrument of God's judgmentson his fellow man) should set aside (Him who is) not wood" (not a mere instrument, as man). On"no wood" compare De 32:21, "that which is not God;" Isa 31:8 shows that God is meant here by"not wood" [Maurer].16. fat ones—(Isa 5:17). The robust and choice soldiers of Assyria (Ps 78:31, where "fattest"answers in the parallelism to "chosen," or "young men," Margin).leanness—carrying out the image on "fat ones." Destruction (Ps 106:15). Fulfilled (Isa 37:36).his glory—Assyria's nobles. So in Isa 5:13, Margin; Isa—a new image from fire consuming quickly dry materials (Zec 12:6).17, 18. light of Israel—carrying out the image in the end of Isa 10:16. Jehovah, who is a lightto Israel, shall be the "fire" (De 4:24; Heb 12:29) that shall ignite the "thorns," (the Assyrians, likedry fuel, a ready prey to flame).18. glory of his forest—The common soldiers, the princes, officers, &c., all alike together,shall be consumed (see on Isa 9:18).in one day—(Isa 37:36).fruitful field—literally, "Carmel," a rich mountain in the tribe of Asher. Figurative forSennacherib's mighty army. Perhaps alluding to his own boasting words about to be uttered (Isa37:24), "I will enter the forest of his Carmel."soul and body—proverbial for utterly; the entire man is made up of soul and when a standard bearer fainteth—rather, "they shall be as when a sick man" (from a Syriacroot) wastes away." Compare "leanness," that is, wasting destruction (Isa 10:16) [Maurer]. Or, "thereshall be an entire dissipation, like a perfect melting" (namely, of the Assyrian army) [Horsley].19. rest—those who shall survive the destruction of the host.his forest—same image as in Isa 10:18, for the once dense army.child … write—so few that a child might count them.20-22. The effect on the "remnant" (contrasted with the Assyrian remnant, Isa 10:19); namely,those who shall be left after the invasion of Sennacherib, will be a return from dependence onexternal idolatrous nations, as Assyria and Egypt (2Ki 18:21; 16:7-9), to the God of the theocracy;fulfilled in part in the pious Hezekiah's days; but from the future aspect under which Paul, in Ro9:27, 28 (compare "short work" with "whole work," Isa 10:12, here), regards the whole prophecy,the "remnant," "who stay upon the Lord," probably will receive their fullest realization in the portionof Jews left after that Antichrist shall have been overthrown, who shall "return" unto the Lord (Isa6:13; 7:3; Zec 12:9, 10; 14:2, 3; Zep 3:12).21. mighty God—(Isa 9:6) the God who shall have evinced such might in destroying Israel'senemies. As the Assyrians in Sennacherib's reign did not carry off Judah captive, the returning"remnant" cannot mainly refer to this time.22. yet—rather in the sense in which Paul quotes it (Ro 9:27), "Though Israel be now numerousas the sand, a remnant only of them shall return"—the great majority shall perish. The reason is1082JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonadded, Because "the consumption (fully completed destruction) is decreed (literally, decided on,brought to an issue), it overfloweth (Isa 30:28; 8:8) with justice"; that is, the infliction of justpunishment (Isa 5:16) [Maurer].23. even determined—"A consumption, and whatever is determined," or decreed [Maurer].midst—Zion, the central point of the earth as to Jehovah's—Israel. But the Septuagint, "in the whole habitable world." So English Version (Ro 9:28),"upon the earth."24. Therefore—Return to the main proposition, Assyria's ultimate punishment, though employedas God's "rod" to chastise Judea for a time.O my people—God's tenderness towards His elect nation.after the manner of Egypt—as Egypt and Pharaoh oppressed thee. Implying, too, as Israelwas nevertheless delivered from them, so now it would be from the Assyrian Sennacherib. Theantithesis in Isa 10:26 requires this interpretation [Maurer].25. For—Be not afraid (Isa 10:24), for, &c.indignation … cease—The punishments of God against Israel shall be consummated and ended(Isa 26:20; Da 11:36). "Till the indignation be accomplished," &c.mine anger—shall turn to their (the Assyrians') destruction.26. slaughter of—"stroke upon."Midian—(Isa 9:4; Jud 7:25).as his rod was upon the sea—rather, understanding "stroke" from the previous clause,"according to the stroke of His rod upon the Red Sea" (Ex 14:16, 26). His "rod" on the Assyrian(Isa 10:24, 26) stands in bold contrast to the Assyrian used as a "rod" to strike others (Isa 10:5).after the manner of Egypt—as He lifted it up against Egypt at the Red Sea.27. his burden—the Assyrians' oppression (Isa 9:3). Judah was still tributary to Assyria;Hezekiah had not yet revolted, as he did in the beginning of Sennacherib's reign.because of—(Ho 10:15).the anointing—namely, "Messiah" (Da 9:24). Just as in Isa 9:4-6, the "breaking of the yokeof" the enemies' "burden and staff" is attributed to Messiah, "For unto us a child is born," &c., soit is here. Maurer not so well translates, "Because of the fatness"; an image of the Assyrians fierceand wanton pride drawn from a well-fed bull tossing off the yoke (De 32:15). So Isa 10:16 above,and Isa 5:17, "fat ones."28-32. Onward gradual march of Sennacherib's army towards Jerusalem, and the panic of theinhabitants vividly pictured before the eyes.come to—come upon as a sudden invader (Ge 34:27).Aiath—same as Ai (Jos 7:2; Ne 7:32). In the north of Benjamin; so the other towns also; allon the line of march to Jerusalem.Michmash—nine miles northeast of Jerusalem.laid up … carriages—He has left his heavier baggage (so "carriages" for the things carried,Ac 21:15) at Michmash, so as to be more lightly equipped for the siege of Jerusalem. So 1Sa 17:22;25:13; 30:24 [Jerome and Maurer].29. passage—the jaws of the wady or defile at Michmash (1Sa 13:23; 14:4, 5).lodging—their quarters for the night, after having passed the defile which might have beeneasily guarded against them.Ramah—near Geba; seven miles from Jerusalem.1083JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGibeah of Saul—his birthplace and residence, in Benjamin (1Sa 11:4), distinct from Gibeahof Judah (Jos 15:57).30. daughter of Gallim—Gallim and her sons (see on Isa 1:8; 2Ki 19:21). "Cry aloud inconsternation."Laish—not the town in Dan (Jud 18:7), but one of the same name near Jerusalem (1 Maccabees9:9).Anathoth—three miles from Jerusalem in Benjamin; the birthplace of Jeremiah. "Poor" isapplied to it in pity, on account of the impending calamity. Others translate, Answer her, O Anathoth.31. Madmenah—not the city in Simeon (Jos 15:31), but a village near Jerusalem.removed—fled from fear.gather themselves to flee—"put their goods in a place of safety" [Maurer].32. that day—literally, "As yet this (one only) day (is allowed to the soldiers) for remaining(halting for rest) at Nob"; northeast of Jerusalem on Olivet; a town of the priests (Ne 11:32).daughter—rightly substituted for the Chetib reading, house. His "shaking his hand" in menaceimplies that he is now at Nob, within sight of Jerusalem.33. bough—literally, the "beauty" of the tree; "the beautiful branch."high ones of stature—"the upright stem," as distinguished from the previous "boughs" [Horsley].34. This verse and Isa 10:33 describe the sudden arrest and overthrow of Sennacherib in theheight of his success; Isa 10:18, 19; Eze 31:3, 14, &c., contain the same image; "Lebanon" and itsforest are the Assyrian army; the "iron" axe that fells the forest refers to the stroke which destroyedthe one hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians (2Ki 19:35). The "Mighty One" is Jehovah(Isa 10:21; Isa 9:6).CHAPTER 11Isa 11:1-16.From the local and temporary national deliverance the prophet passes by the law of suggestionin an easy transition to the end of all prophecy—the everlasting deliverance under Messiah's reign,not merely His first coming, but chiefly His second coming. The language and illustrations are stilldrawn from the temporary national subject, with which he began, but the glories described pertainto Messiah's reign. Hezekiah cannot, as some think, be the subject; for he was already come, whereasthe "stem of Jesse" was yet future ("shall come") (compare Mic 4:11, &c.; 5:1, 2; Jer 23:5, 6; 33:15,16; Ro 15:12).1. rod—When the proud "boughs" of "Lebanon" (Isa 10:33, 34, the Assyrians) are lopped, andthe vast "forests cut down" amidst all this rage, a seemingly humble rod shall come out of Jesse(Messiah), who shall retrieve the injuries done by the Assyrian "rod" to Israel (Isa 10:5, 6, 18, 19).stem—literally, "the stump" of a tree cut close by the roots: happily expressing the depressedstate of the royal house of David, owing to the hostile storm (Isa 10:18, 19), when Messiah shouldarise from it, to raise it to more than its pristine glory. Lu 2:7 proves this (Isa 53:2; compare Job14:7, 8; see on Isa 8:6).Branch—Scion. He is nevertheless also the "root" (Isa 11:10; Re 5:5; 22:16. "Root and offspring"combines both, Zec 3:8; 6:12).1084JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. Spirit of the Lord—Jehovah. The Spirit by which the prophets spake: for Messiah was to bea Prophet (Isa 61:1; De 18:15, 18). Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are specified, to imply that theperfection of them was to be in Him. Compare "the seven Spirits" (Re 1:4), that is, the Holy Ghostin His perfect fulness: seven being the sacred number. The prophets had only a portion out of the"fulness" in the Son of God (Joh 1:16; 3:34; Col 1:19).rest—permanently; not merely come upon Him (Nu 11:25, 26).wisdom—(1Co 1:30; Eph 1:17; Col 2:3).understanding—coupled with "wisdom," being its fruit. Discernment and discrimination (Mt22:18; Joh 2:25).counsel … might—the faculty of forming counsels, and that of executing them (Isa 28:29).Counsellor (Isa 9:6).knowledge—of the deep things of God (Mt 11:27). The knowledge of Him gives us trueknowledge (Eph 1:17).fear of the Lord—reverential, obedient fear. The first step towards true "knowledge" (Job28:28; Ps 111:10).3. make him of quick understanding—literally, "quick-scented in the fear of Jehovah";endowed with a singular sagacity in discerning the genuine principle of religious fear of God, whenit lies dormant in the yet unawakened sinner (Mt 12:20; Ac 10:1-48; 16:14) [Horsley]. But Maurer,"He shall delight in the fear of God." The Hebrew means "to delight in the odors" of anything (Ex30:38; Am 5:21); "smell," that is, "delight in."after … sight—according to mere external appearances (Joh 7:24; 8:15; Jas 2:1; 1Sa 16:7).Herein Messiah is represented a just Judge and Ruler (De 1:16, 17).reprove—"decide," as the parallelism shows.after … ears—by mere plausible hearsays, but by the true merits of each case (Joh 6:64; Re2:23).4. judge—see that impartial justice is done them. "Judge" may mean here "rule," as in Ps 67:4.reprove—or, "argue"; "decide." But Lowth, "work conviction in."earth—Compare with Mt 5:5, and Re—its ungodly inhabitants, answering to "the wicked" in the parallel, and in antithesis tothe "poor" and "meek," namely, in spirit, the humble pious (Mt 5:3). It is at the same time impliedthat "the earth" will be extraordinarily wicked when He shall come to judge and reign. His reignshall therefore be ushered in with judgments on the apostates (Ps 2:9-12; Lu 18:8; Re 2:27).rod of … mouth—condemning sentences which proceed from His mouth against the wicked(Re 1:16; 2:16; 19:15, 21).breath of … lips—his judicial decisions (Isa 30:28; Job 15:30; Re 19:20; 20:9-12). He as theWord of God (Re 19:13-15) comes to strike that blow which shall decide His claim to the kingdom,previously usurped by Satan, and "the beast" to whom Satan delegates his power. It will be a dayof judgment to the Gentile dispensation, as the first coming was to the Jews. Compare a type of the"rod" (Nu 17:2-10).5. righteousness … girdle—(Re 1:13; 19:11). The antitypical High Priest (Ex 28:4). The girdlesecures firmly the rest of the garments (1Pe 1:13). So "truth" gives firm consistency to the wholecharacter (Eph 5:14). In Isa 59:17, "righteousness" is His breastplate.6. wolf … lamb—Each animal is coupled with that one which is its natural prey. A fit state ofthings under the "Prince of Peace" (Isa 65:25; Eze 34:25; Ho 2:18). These may be figures for men1085JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof corresponding animal-like characters (Eze 22:27; 38:13; Jer 5:6; 13:23; Mt 7:15; Lu 10:3). Stilla literal change in the relations of animals to man and each other, restoring the state in Eden, is amore likely interpretation. Compare Ge 2:19, 20, with Ps 8:6-8, which describes the restoration toman, in the person of "the Son of man," of the lost dominion over the animal kingdom of which hehad been designed to be the merciful vicegerent under God, for the good of his animal subjects (Ro8:19-22).7. feed—namely, "together"; taken from the second clause.straw—no longer flesh and blood.8. play—literally, "delight" himself in sport.cockatrice—a fabulous serpent supposed to be hatched from the egg of a cock. The Hebrewmeans a kind of adder, more venomous than the asp; Bochart supposes the basilisk to be meant,which was thought to poison even with its breath.9. my holy mountain—Zion, that is, Jerusalem. The seat of government and of Messiah'sthrone is put for the whole earth (Jer 3:17).sea—As the waters find their way into every cavern of its depths, so Christianity shall pervadeevery recess of the earth (Hab 2:14). As Isa 11:1-5 describe the personal qualities of Messiah, andIsa 11:6-9 the regenerating effects of His coming on creation, so Isa 11:10-16 the results of it inthe restoration of His people, the Jews, and the conversion through them of the Gentiles.10. root—rather, "shoot from the root" (compare Note, see on Isa 11:1; Isa 53:2; Re 5:5; 22:16).stand—permanently and prominently, as a banner lifted up to be the rallying point of an armyor people (Isa 5:26; Joh 12:32).the people—peoples, answering to "the Gentiles" in the parallel it … seek—diligently (Job 8:5). They shall give in their allegiance to the Divine King (Isa2:2; 60:5; Zec 2:11). Horsley translates, "Of Him shall the Gentiles inquire"; namely, in a religioussense, resort as to an oracle for consultation in difficulties" (Zec 14:16). Compare Ro 15:12, whichquotes this passage, "In Him shall the Gentiles trust."rest—resting-place (Isa 60:13; Ps 132:8, 14; Eze 43:7). The sanctuary in the temple of Jerusalemwas "the resting-place of the ark and of Jehovah." So the glorious Church which is to be is describedunder the image of an oracle to which all nations shall resort, and which shall be filled with thevisible glory of God.11. set … hand—take in hand the work. Therefore the coming restoration of the Jews is to bedistinct from that after the Babylonish captivity, and yet to resemble it. The first restoration wasliteral, therefore so shall the second be; the latter, however, it is implied here, shall be much moreuniversal than the former (Isa 43:5-7; 49:12, 17, 18; Eze 37:21; Ho 3:5; Am 9:14, 15; Mic 4:6, 7;Zep 3:19, 20; Zec 10:10; Jer 23:8). As to the "remnant" destined by God to survive the judgmentson the nation, compare Jer 46:28.Pathros—one of the three divisions of Egypt, Upper Egypt.Cush—either Ethiopia, south of Egypt, now Abyssinia, or the southern parts of Arabia, alongthe Red Sea.Elam—Persia, especially the southern part of it now called Susiana.Shinar—Babylonian Mesopotamia, the plain between the Euphrates and the Tigris: in it Babelwas begun (Ge 10:10). In the Assyrian inscriptions Rawlinson distinguishes three periods: (1) TheChaldean; from 2300 B.C. to 1500, in which falls Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:1-17), called in the cuneiformcharacters Kudur of Hur, or Ur of the Chaldees, and described as the conqueror of Syria. The seat1086JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof the first Chaldean empire was in the south, towards the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates.(2) The Assyrian, down to 625 B.C. (3) The Babylonian, from 625 to 538 B.C., when Babylon wastaken by the Persian Cyrus.islands of … sea—the far western regions beyond the sea [Jerome].12. In the first restoration Judah alone was restored, with perhaps some few of Israel (the tentribes): in the future restoration both are expressly specified (Eze 37:16-19; Jer 3:18). To Israel areascribed the "outcasts" (masculine); to Judah the "dispersed" (feminine), as the former have beenlonger and more utterly castaways (though not finally) than the latter (Joh 7:52). The masculineand feminine conjoined express the universality of the restoration.from the four corners of the earth—Hebrew, "wings of the earth."13. envy … of Ephraim … Judah—which began as early as the time (Jud 8:1; 12:1, &c.).Joshua had sprung from, and resided among the Ephraimites (Nu 13:9; Jos 19:50); the sanctuarywas with them for a time (Jos 18:1). The jealousy increased subsequently (2Sa 2:8, &c.; 19:41;20:2; 3:10); and even before David's time (1Sa 11:8; 15:4), they had appropriated to themselvesthe national name Israel. It ended in disruption (1Ki 11:26, &c.; 1Ki 12:1-33; compare 2Ki 14:9;Ps 78:56-71).adversaries of Judah—rather, "the adversaries from Judah"; those of Judah hostile to theEphraimites [Maurer]. The parallelism "the envy of Ephraim," namely, against Judah, requires this,as also what follows; namely, "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim"(Eze 37:15, 17, 19).14. With united forces they shall subdue their foes (Am 9:12).fly—as a bird of prey (Hab 1:8).upon the shoulders—This expresses an attack made unexpectedly on one from behind. Theimage is the more apt, as the Hebrew for "shoulders" in Nu 34:11 is used also of a maritime coast("side of the sea": Hebrew, "shoulder of the sea," Margin). They shall make a sudden victoriousdescent upon their borders southwest of Judea.them of the east—Hebrew, "children of the East," the Arabs, who, always hostile, are not tobe reduced under regular government, but are only to be despoiled (Jer 49:28, 29).lay … hand upon—take possession of (Da 11:42).Edom—south of Judah, from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea; "Moab"—east of Jordan and theDead Sea.Ammon—east of Judea, north of Moab, between the Arnon and Jabbok.15. There shall be a second exodus, destined to eclipse even the former one from Egypt in itswonders. So the prophecies elsewhere (Ps 68:22; Ex 14:22; Zec 10:11). The same deliverancefurnishes the imagery by which the return from Babylon is described (Isa 48:20, 21).destroy—literally, "devote," or "doom," that is, dry up; for what God dooms, perishes (Ps 106:9Na 1:4).tongue—the Bubastic branch of the Nile [Vitringa]; but as the Nile was not the obstruction tothe exodus, it is rather the west tongue or Heroöpolite fork of the Red Sea.with … mighty wind—such as the "strong east wind" (Ex 14:21), by which God made a wayfor Israel through the Red Sea. The Hebrew for "mighty" means terrible. Maurer translates, "Withthe terror of His anger"; that is, His terrible the seven streams—rather, "shall smite it (divide it by smiting) into seven (many) streams,so as to be easily crossed" [Lowth]. So Cyrus divided the river Gyndes, which retarded his march1087JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonagainst Babylon, into three hundred sixty streams, so that even a woman could cross it [Herodotus,1.189]. "The river" is the Euphrates, the obstruction to Israel's return "from Assyria" (Isa 11:16),a type of all future impediments to the restoration of the Jews.dry shod—Hebrew, "in shoes." Even in sandals they should be able to pass over the oncemighty river without being wet (Re 16:12).16. highway—a highway clear of obstructions (Isa 19:23; 35:8).like as … Israel … Egypt—(Isa 51:10, 11; 63:12, 13).CHAPTER 12Isa 12:1-6. Thanksgiving Hymn of the Restored and Converted Jews.Just as Miriam, after the deliverance of the Red Sea (Isa 11:16), celebrated it with an ode ofpraise (Ex 15:1-19).2. Lord Jehovah—Jah, Jehovah. The repetition of the name denotes emphasis, and theunchangeableness of God's character.strength … song … salvation—derived from Ex 15:2; Ps 118:14. The idea of salvation waspeculiarly associated with the feast of tabernacles (see Isa 12:3). Hence the cry "Hosanna," "Save,we beseech thee," that accompanied Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on that day (the fifteenthof the seventh month) (Mt 21:9; compare with Ps 118:25, 26); the earnest of the perfected "salvation"which He shall bring to His people at His glorious second appearance at Jerusalem (Heb 9:28). "Heshall appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Compare Re 21:3, "The tabernacle ofGod is with men." Compare Lu 9:33, "three tabernacles: one for thee," &c. (the transfigurationbeing a pledge of the future kingdom), (Ps 118:15; Zec 14:16). As the Jew was reminded by thefeast of tabernacles of his wanderings in tents in the wilderness, so the Jew-Gentile Church to comeshall call to mind, with thanksgiving, the various past ways whereby God has at last brought themto the heavenly "city of habitation" (Ps 107:7).3. draw water … salvation—an expressive image in a hot country. On the last day of the feastof tabernacles the Jews used to bring water in a golden pitcher from the fountain of Siloam, andpour it, mingled with wine, on the sacrifice on the altar, with great rejoicing. This is the allusionin Jesus' words on "the last day of the feast" (Joh 7:2, 37-39). The pouring out of water indicatedrepentance (1Sa 7:6; compare, as to the Jews' repentance hereafter, Zec 12:10). There shall be alatter outpouring of the Spirit like the former one on pentecost (Joe 2:23).wells—not mere streams, which may run dry, but ever-flowing fountains (Joh 4:14; 7:38), "Outof his belly (that is, in and from himself)—living water" (Isa 42:18; Ps 84:6; Zec 13:1; Re 7:17).4. make mention—Hebrew, "cause it to be remembered."5. Sing, &c.—alluding to Ex 15:21.6. inhabitant of Zion—Hebrew, "inhabitress"; so "daughter of Zion," that is, Zion and the midst of thee—of Jerusalem literally (Jer 3:17; Eze 48:35; Zep 3:15, 17; Zec 2:10).CHAPTER 131088JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIsa 13:1-22. The Thirteenth through Twenty-third Chapters Contain Prophecies as to Foreign Nations.—TheThirteenth, Fourteenth, and Twenty-seventh Chapters as to Babylon and Assyria.The predictions as to foreign nations are for the sake of the covenant people, to preserve themfrom despair, or reliance on human confederacies, and to strengthen their faith in God: also in orderto extirpate narrow-minded nationality: God is Jehovah to Israel, not for Israel's sake alone, butthat He may be thereby Elohim to the nations. These prophecies are in their right chronologicalplace, in the beginning of Hezekiah's reign; then the nations of Western Asia, on the Tigris andEuphrates, first assumed a most menacing aspect.1. burden—weighty or mournful prophecy [Grotius]. Otherwise, simply, the propheticaldeclaration, from a Hebrew root to put forth with the voice anything, as in Nu 23:7 [Maurer].of Babylon—concerning Babylon.2. Lift … banner—(Isa 5:26; 11:10).the high mountain—rather, "a bare (literally, "bald," that is, without trees) mountain"; fromit the banner could be seen afar off, so as to rally together the peoples against Babylon.unto them—unto the Medes (Isa 13:17), the assailants of Babylon. It is remarkable that Isaiahdoes not foretell here the Jews' captivity in Babylon, but presupposes that event, and throws himselfbeyond, predicting another event still more future, the overthrow of the city of Israel's oppressors.It was now one hundred seventy-four years before the event.shake … hand—beckon with the hand—wave the hand to direct the nations to march againstBabylon.nobles—Babylonian. Rather, in a bad sense, tyrants; as in Isa 14:5, "rulers" in parallelism to"the wicked"; and Job 21:28 [Maurer].3. sanctified ones—the Median and Persian soldiers solemnly set apart by Me for the destructionof Babylon, not inwardly "sanctified," but designated to fulfil God's holy purpose (Jer 51:27, 28;Joe 3:9, 11; where the Hebrew for prepare war is "sanctify" war).for mine anger—to execute it.rejoice in my highness—"Those who are made to triumph for My honor" [Horsley]. The heathenMedes could not be said to "rejoice in God's highness" Maurer translates, "My haughtily exultingones" (Zep 3:11); a special characteristic of the Persians [Herodotus,1.88]. They rejoiced in theirown highness, but it was His that they were unconsciously glorifying.4. the mountains—namely, which separate Media and Assyria, and on one of which the bannerto rally the hosts is supposed to be reared.tumultuous noise—The Babylonians are vividly depicted as hearing some unwonted soundlike the din of a host; they try to distinguish the sounds, but can only perceive a tumultuous noise.nations—Medes, Persians, and Armenians composed Cyrus' army.5. They—namely, "Jehovah," and the armies which are "the weapons of His indignation."far country—Media and Persia, stretching to the far north and east.end of heaven—the far east (Ps 19:6).destroy—rather, "to seize" [Horsley].6. day of the Lord—day of His vengeance on Babylon (Isa 2:12). Type of the future "day ofwrath" (Re 6:17).destruction—literally, "a devastating tempest."from the Almighty—not from mere man; therefore irresistible. "Almighty," Hebrew, Shaddai.1089JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. faint … melt—So Jer 50:43; compare Jos 7:5. Babylon was taken by surprise on the nightof Belshazzar's impious feast (Da 5:30). Hence the sudden fainting and melting of hearts.8. pangs—The Hebrew means also a "messenger." Horsley, therefore, with the Septuaginttranslates, "The heralds (who bring word of the unexpected invasion) are terrified." Maurer agreeswith English Version, literally, "they shall take hold of pangs and sorrows."woman … travaileth—(1Th 5:3).amazed—the stupid, bewildered gaze of consternation.faces … flames—"their visages have the livid hue of flame" [Horsley]; with anguish andindignation.9. cruel—not strictly, but unsparingly just; opposed to mercy. Also answering to the cruelty(in the strict sense) of Babylon towards others (Isa 14:17) now about to be visited on itself.the land—"the earth" [Horsley]. The language of Isa 13:9-13 can only primarily and partiallyapply to Babylon; fully and exhaustively, the judgments to come, hereafter, on the whole earth.Compare Isa 13:10 with Mt 24:29; Re 8:12. The sins of Babylon, arrogancy (Isa 13:11; Isa 14:11;47:7, 8), cruelty, false worship (Jer 50:38), persecution of the people of God (Isa 47:6), are peculiarlycharacteristic of the Antichristian world of the latter days (Da 11:32-37; Re 17:3, 6; 18:6, 7, 9-14,24).10. stars, &c.—figuratively for anarchy, distress, and revolutions of kingdoms (Isa 34:4; Joe2:10; Eze 32:7, 8; Am 8:9; Re 6:12-14). There may be a literal fulfilment finally, shadowed forthunder this imagery (Re 21:1).constellations—Hebrew, "a fool," or "impious one"; applied to the constellation Orion, whichwas represented as an impious giant (Nimrod deified, the founder of Babylon) chained to the sky.See on Job 38:31.11. world—the impious of the world (compare Isa 11:4).arrogancy—Babylon's besetting sin (Da 4:22, 30).the terrible—rather, tyrants [Horsley].12. man … precious—I will so cut off Babylon's defenders, that a single man shall be as rareand precious as the finest gold.13. Image for mighty revolutions (Isa 24:19; 34:4; Hab 3:6, 10; Hag 2:6, 7; Re 20:11).14. it—Babylon.roe—gazelle; the most timid and easily man taketh up—sheep defenseless, without a shepherd (Zec 13:7).every man … to his own people—The "mingled peoples" of foreign lands shall flee out ofher (Jer 50:16, 28, 37; 51:9).15. found—in the city.joined—"intercepted" [Maurer]. "Every one that has withdrawn himself," namely, to hide in thehouses [Gesenius].16. (Ps 137:8, 9).17. Medes—(Isa 21:2; Jer 51:11, 28). At that time they were subject to Assyria; subsequentlyArbaces, satrap of Media, revolted against the effeminate Sardanapalus, king of Assyria, destroyedNineveh, and became king of Media, in the ninth century B.C.not regard silver—In vain will one try to buy his life from them for a ransom. The heathenXenophon (Cyropædia, 5,1,10) represents Cyrus as attributing this characteristic to the Medes,disregard of riches. A curious confirmation of this prophecy.1090JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. bows—in the use of which the Persians were particularly skilled.19. glory of kingdoms—(Isa 14:4; 47:5; Jer 51:41).beauty of … excellency—Hebrew, "the glory of the pride" of the Chaldees; it was their gloryand … Gomorrah—as utterly (Jer 49:18; 50:40; Am 4:11). Taken by Cyrus, by clearing out thecanal made for emptying the superfluous waters of the Euphrates, and directing the river into thisnew channel, so that he was able to enter the city by the old bed in the night.20. Literally fulfilled.neither … Arabian pitch tent—Not only shall it not be a permanent residence, but not evena temporary resting-place. The Arabs, through dread of evil spirits, and believing the ghost ofNimrod to haunt it, will not pass the night there (compare Isa 13:21).neither … shepherds—The region was once most fertile; but owing to the Euphrates beingnow no longer kept within its former channels, it has become a stagnant marsh, unfit for flocks;and on the wastes of its ruins (bricks and cement) no grass grows.21. wild beasts—Hebrew, tsiyim, animals dwelling in arid wastes. Wild cats, remarkable fortheir howl [Bochart].doleful creatures—"howling beasts," literally, "howlings" [Maurer].owls—rather, "ostriches"; a timorous creature, delighting in solitary deserts and making ahideous noise [Bochart].satyrs—sylvan demi-gods—half man, half goat—believed by the Arabs to haunt these ruins;probably animals of the goat-ape species [Vitringa]. Devil-worshippers, who dance amid the ruinson a certain night [J. Wolff].22. wild beasts of the islands—rather, "jackals"; called by the Arabs "sons of howling"; ananimal midway between a fox and a wolf [Bochart and Maurer].cry—rather, "answer," "respond" to each other, as wolves do at night, producing a most dismaleffect.dragons—serpents of various species, which hiss and utter dolorous sounds. Fable gave themwings, because they stand with much of the body elevated and then dart swiftly. Maurer understandshere another species of jackal.her time … near—though one hundred seventy-four years distant, yet "near" to Isaiah, whois supposed to be speaking to the Jews as if now captives in Babylon (Isa 14:1, 2).CHAPTER 14Isa 14:1-3. The Certainty of Deliverance from Babylon.Isa 14:4-23. The Jews' Triumphal Song Thereat."It moves in lengthened elegiac measure like a song of lamentation for the dead, and is full oflofty scorn" [Herder].Isa 14:24-27. Confirmation of This by the Hereforetold Destruction of the Assyrians under Sennacherib;a pledge to assure the captives in Babylon that He who, with such ease, overthrew the Assyrian,could likewise effect His purpose as to Babylon. The Babylonian king, the subject of this prediction,is Belshazzar, as representative of the kingdom (Da 5:1-31).1091JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. choose—"set His choice upon." A deliberate predilection [Horsley]. Their restoration isgrounded on their election (see Ps 102:13-22).strangers—proselytes (Es 8:17; Ac 2:10; 17:4, 17). Tacitus, a heathen [Histories, 5.5], atteststhe fact of numbers of the Gentiles having become Jews in his time. An earnest of the future effecton the heathen world of the Jews' spiritual restoration (Isa 60:4, 5, 10; Mic 5:7; Zec 14:16; Ro11:12).2. the people—of Babylon, primarily. Of the whole Gentile world ultimately (Isa 49:22; 66:20;60:9).their place—Judea (Ezr 1:1-6).possess—receive in possession.captives—not by physical, but by moral might; the force of love, and regard to Israel's God(Isa 60:14).3. rest—(Isa 28:12; Eze 28:25, 26).Isa 14:4-8. A Chorus of Jews Express Their Joyful Surprise at Babylon's Downfall.The whole earth rejoices; the cedars of Lebanon taunt him.4. proverb—The Orientals, having few books, embodied their thoughts in weighty, figurative,briefly expressed gnomes. Here a taunting song of triumph (Mic 2:4; Hab 2:6).the king—the ideal representative of Babylon; perhaps Belshazzar (Da 5:1-31). The mysticalBabylon is ultimately meant.golden city—rather, "the exactress of gold" [Maurer]. But the old translators read differently inthe Hebrew, "oppression," which the parallelism favors (compare Isa 3:5).5. staff—not the scepter (Ps 2:9), but the staff with which one strikes others, as he is speakingof more tyrants than one (Isa 9:4; 10:24; 14:29) [Maurer].rulers—tyrants, as the parallelism "the wicked" proves (compare see on Isa 13:2).6. people—the peoples subjected to persecuted—the Hebrew is rather, active, "which persecuted them, without any to hinderhim" [Vulgate, Jerome, and Horsley].7. they—the once subject nations of the whole earth. Houbigant places the stop after "fir trees"(Isa 14:8), "The very fir trees break forth," &c. But the parallelism is better in English Version.8. the fir trees—now left undisturbed. Probably a kind of evergreen.rejoice at thee—(Ps 96:12). At thy fall (Ps 35:19, 24).no feller—as formerly, when thou wast in power (Isa 10:34; 37:24).Isa 14:9-11. The Scene Changes from Earth to Hell.Hades (the Amenthes of Egypt), the unseen abode of the departed; some of its tenants, oncemighty monarchs, are represented by a bold personification as rising from their seats in astonishmentat the descent among them of the humbled king of Babylon. This proves, in opposition to Warburton[The Divine Legation], that the belief existed among the Jews that there was a Sheol or Hades, inwhich the "Rephaim" or manes of the departed abode.9. moved—put into agitation.for thee—that is, "at thee"; towards thee; explained by "to meet thee at thy coming" [Maurer].chief ones—literally, "goats"; so rams, leaders of the flock; princes (Zec 10:3). The idea ofwickedness on a gigantic scale is included (Eze 34:17; Mt 25:32, 33). Magee derives "Rephaim"(English Version, "the dead") from a Hebrew root, "to resolve into first elements"; so "the deceased"(Isa 26:14) "ghosts" (Pr 21:16). These being magnified by the imagination of the living into gigantic1092JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstature, gave their name to giants in general (Ge 6:4; 14:5; Eze 32:18, 21). "Rephaim," translatedin the Septuagint, "giants" (compare see on Job 26:5, 6). Thence, as the giant Rephaim of Canaanwere notorious even in that guilty land, enormous wickedness became connected with the term. Sothe Rephaim came to be the wicked spirits in Gehenna, the lower of the two portions into whichSheol is divided.10. They taunt him and derive from his calamity consolation under their own (Eze 31:16).weak—as a shade bereft of blood and life. Rephaim, "the dead," may come from a Hebrewroot, meaning similarly "feeble," "powerless." The speech of the departed closes with Isa 14:11.11. "Pomp" and music, the accompaniment of Babylon's former feastings (Isa 5:12; 24:8), giveplace to the corruption and the stillness of the grave (Eze 32:27).worm—that is bred in putridity.worms—properly those from which the crimson dye is obtained. Appropriate here; instead ofthe crimson coverlet, over thee shall be "worms." Instead of the gorgeous couch, "under thee" shallbe the maggot.Isa 14:12-15. The Jews Address Him Again as a Fallen Once-bright Star.The language is so framed as to apply to the Babylonian king primarily, and at the same timeto shadow forth through him, the great final enemy, the man of sin, Antichrist, of Daniel, St. Paul,and St. John; he alone shall fulfil exhaustively all the lineaments here given.12. Lucifer—"day star." A title truly belonging to Christ (Re 22:16), "the bright and morningstar," and therefore hereafter to be assumed by Antichrist. Gesenius, however, renders the Hebrewhere as in Eze 21:12; Zec 11:2, "howl."weaken—"prostrate"; as in Ex 17:13, "discomfit."13. above … God—In Da 8:10, "stars" express earthly potentates. "The stars" are often alsoused to express heavenly principalities (Job 38:7).mount of the congregation—the place of solemn meeting between God and His people in thetemple at Jerusalem. In Da 11:37, and 2Th 2:4, this is attributed to Antichrist.sides of the north—namely, the sides of Mount Moriah on which the temple was built; northof Mount Zion (Ps 48:2). However, the parallelism supports the notion that the Babylonian kingexpresses himself according to his own, and not Jewish opinions (so in Isa 10:10) thus "mount ofthe congregation" will mean the northern mountain (perhaps in Armenia) fabled by the Babyloniansto be the common meeting-place of their gods. "Both sides" imply the angle in which the sidesmeet; and so the expression comes to mean "the extreme parts of the north." So the Hindus placethe Meru, the dwelling-place of their gods, in the north, in the Himalayan mountains. So the Greeks,in the northern Olympus. The Persian followers of Zoroaster put the Ai-bordsch in the Caucasusnorth of them. The allusion to the stars harmonizes with this; namely, that those near the NorthPole, the region of the aurora borealis (compare see on Job 23:9; Job 37:22) [Maurer, Septuagint,Syriac].14. clouds—rather, "the cloud," singular. Perhaps there is a reference to the cloud, the symbolof the divine presence (Isa 4:5; Ex 13:21). So this tallies with 2Th 2:4, "above all that is calledGod"; as here "above … the cloud"; and as the Shekinah-cloud was connected with the temple,there follows, "he as God sitteth in the temple of God," answering to "I will be like the Most High"here. Moreover, Re 17:4, 5, represents Antichrist as seated in Babylon, to which city, literal andspiritual, Isaiah refers here.15. to hell—to Sheol (Isa 14:6), thou who hast said, "I will ascend into heaven" (Mt 11:23).1093JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsides of the pit—antithetical to the "sides of the north" (Isa 14:13). Thus the reference is to thesides of the sepulcher round which the dead were arranged in niches. But Maurer here, as in Isa14:13, translates, "the extreme," or innermost parts of the sepulchre: as in Eze 32:23 (compare 1Sa24:3).Isa 14:16-20. The Passers-by Contemplate with Astonishment the Body of the King of Babylon Cast Out, Insteadof Lying in a Splendid Mausoleum, and Can Hardly Believe Their Senses that It Is He.16. narrowly look—to be certain they are not mistaken.consider—"meditate upon" [Horsley].17. opened not … house … prisoners—But Maurer, as Margin, "Did not let his captives loosehomewards."18. All—that is, This is the usual glory—in a grand—that is, "sepulchre," as in Ec 12:5; "grave" (Isa 14:19). To be excluded from the familysepulcher was a mark of infamy (Isa 34:3; Jer 22:19; 1Ki 13:22; 2Ch 21:20; 24:25; 28:27).19. cast out of—not that he had lain in the grave and was then cast out of it, but "cast out withouta grave," such as might have been expected by thee ("thy").branch—a useless sucker starting up from the root of a tree, and cut away by the husbandman.raiment of those … slain—covered with gore, and regarded with abhorrence as unclean bythe Jews. Rather, "clothed (that is, covered) with the slain"; as in Job 7:5, "My flesh is clothed withworms and clods of dust" [Maurer].thrust through—that is, "the slain who have been thrust through," &c.stones of … pit—whose bodies are buried in sepulchres excavated amidst stones, whereas theking of Babylon is an unburied "carcass trodden under foot."20. not … joined with them—whereas the princes slain with thee shall be buried, thou shaltnot.thou … destroyed … land—Belshazzar (or Naboned) oppressed his land with wars and tyranny,so that he was much hated [Xenophon, Cyropædia 4.6, 3; 7.5, 32].seed … never be renowned—rather, "shall not be named for ever"; the Babylonian dynastyshall end with Belshazzar; his family shall not be perpetuated [Horsley].Isa 14:21-23. God's Determination to Destroy Babylon.21. Prepare, &c.—charge to the Medes and Persians, as if they were God's consciousinstruments.his children—Belshazzar's (Ex 20:5).rise—to occupy the places of their fathers.fill … with cities—Maurer translates, "enemies," as the Hebrew means in 1Sa 28:16; Ps 139:20;namely, lest they inundate the world with their armies. Vitringa translates, "disturbers." In EnglishVersion the meaning is, "lest they fill the land with such cities" of pride as Babylon was.22. against them—the family of the king of—all the male representatives, so that the name shall become extinct (Isa 56:5; Ru 4:5).remnant—all that is left of them. The dynasty shall cease (Da 5:28-31). Compare as to Babylonin general, Jer 51:62.23. bittern—rather, "the hedgehog" [Maurer and Gesenius]. Strabo (16:1) states that enormoushedgehogs were found in the islands of the Euphrates.pools—owing to Cyrus turning the waters of the Euphrates over the country.1094JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbesom—sweep-net [Maurer], (1Ki 14:10; 2Ki 21:13).Isa 14:24-27. A Fragment as to the Destruction of the Assyrians under Sennacherib.This would comfort the Jews when captives in Babylon, being a pledge that God, who had bythat time fulfilled the promise concerning Sennacherib (though now still future), would also fulfilHis promise as to destroying Babylon, Judah's enemy.24. In this verse the Lord's thought (purpose) stands in antithesis to the Assyrians' thoughts (Isa10:7). (See Isa 46:10, 11; 1Sa 15:29; Mal 3:6).25. That—My purpose, namely, "that."break … yoke—(Isa 10:27).my mountains—Sennacherib's army was destroyed on the mountains near Jerusalem (Isa 10:33,34). God regarded Judah as peculiarly His.26. This is … purpose … whole earth—A hint that the prophecy embraces the present worldof all ages in its scope, of which the purpose concerning Babylon and Assyria, the thenrepresentatives of the world power, is but a part.hand … stretched out upon—namely, in punishment (Isa 5:25).27. (Da 4:35).Isa 14:28-32. Prophecy against Philistia.To comfort the Jews, lest they should fear that people; not in order to call the Philistines torepentance, since the prophecy was probably never circulated among them. They had been subduedby Uzziah or Azariah (2Ch 26:6); but in the reign of Ahaz (2Ch 28:18), they took several towns insouth Judea. Now Isaiah denounces their final subjugation by Hezekiah.28. In … year … Ahaz died—726 B.C. Probably it was in this year that the Philistines threwoff the yoke put on them by Uzziah.29. Palestina—literally, "the land of sojourners."rod … broken—The yoke imposed by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6) was thrown off under Ahaz (2Ch28:18).serpent's root—the stock of Jesse (Isa 11:1). Uzziah was doubtless regarded by the Philistinesas a biting "serpent." But though the effects of his bite have been got rid of, a more deadly viper,or "cockatrice" (literally, "viper's offspring," as Philistia would regard him), namely, Hezekiahawaits you (2Ki 18:8).30. first-born of … poor—Hebraism, for the most abject poor; the first-born being the foremostof the family. Compare "first-born of death" (Job 18:13), for the most fatal death. The Jews,heretofore exposed to Philistine invasions and alarms, shall be in safety. Compare Ps 72:4, "Childrenof the needy," expressing those "needy in condition."feed—image from a flock feeding in safety.root—radical destruction.He shall slay—Jehovah shall. The change of person, "He" after "I," is a common Hebraism.31. gate—that is, ye who throng the gate; the chief place of concourse in a city.from … north—Judea, north and east of Palestine.smoke—from the signal-fire, whereby a hostile army was called together; the Jews' signal-fireis meant here, the "pillar of cloud and fire," (Ex 13:21; Ne 9:19); or else from the region devastatedby fire [Maurer]. Gesenius less probably refers it to the cloud of dust raised by the invading army.none … alone … in … appointed times—Rather, "There shall not be a straggler among his(the enemy's) levies." The Jewish host shall advance on Palestine in close array; none shall fall1095JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonback or lag from weariness (Isa 5:26, 27), [Lowth]. Maurer thinks the Hebrew will not bear therendering "levies" or "armies." He translates, "There is not one (of the Philistine watch guards)who will remain alone (exposed to the enemy) at his post," through fright. On "alone," comparePs 102:7; Ho 8:9.32. messengers of the nation—When messengers come from Philistia to enquire as to the stateof Judea, the reply shall be, that the Lord … (Ps 87:1, 5; 102:16).poor—(Zep 3:12).CHAPTER 15Isa 15:1-9. The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Chapters Form One Prophecy on Moab.Lowth thinks it was delivered in the first years of Hezekiah's reign and fulfilled in the fourthwhen Shalmaneser, on his way to invade Israel, may have seized on the strongholds of Moab. Moabprobably had made common cause with Israel and Syria in a league against Assyria. Hence itincurred the vengeance of Assyria. Jeremiah has introduced much of this prophecy into hisforty-eighth chapter.1. Because—rather, "Surely"; literally, "(I affirm) that" [Maurer].night—the time best suited for a hostile incursion (Isa 21:4; Jer 39:4).Ar—meaning in Hebrew, "the city"; the metropolis of Moab, on the south of the river Arnon.Kir—literally, "a citadel"; not far from Ar, towards the south.He—Moab personified.Bajith—rather, "to the temple" [Maurer]; answering to the "sanctuary" (Isa 16:12), in a Dibon—Rather, as Dibon was in a plain north of the Arnon, "Dibon (is gone up) to the highplaces," the usual places of sacrifice in the East. Same town as Dimon (Isa 15:9).to weep—at the sudden calamity.over Nebo—rather "in Nebo"; not "on account of" Nebo (compare Isa 15:3) [Maurer]. The townNebo was adjacent to the mountain, not far from the northern shore of the Dead Sea. There it wasthat Chemosh, the idol of Moab, was worshipped (compare De 34:1).Medeba—south of Heshbon, on a hill east of Jordan.baldness … beard cut off—The Orientals regarded the beard with peculiar veneration. To cutone's beard off is the greatest mark of sorrow and mortification (compare Jer 48:37).3. tops of … houses—flat; places of resort for prayer, &c., in the East (Ac 10:9).weeping abundantly—"melting away in tears." Horsley prefers "descending to weep." Thusthere is a "parallelism by alternate construction" [Lowth], or chiasmus; "howl" refers to "tops ofhouses." "Descending to weep" to "streets" or squares, whither they descend from the housetops.4. Heshbon—an Amorite city, twenty miles east of Jordan; taken by Moab after the carryingaway of Israel (compare Jer 48:1-47).Elealeh—near Heshbon, in Reuben.Jahaz—east of Jordan, in Reuben. Near it Moses defeated Sihon.therefore—because of the sudden overthrow of their cities. Even the armed men, instead offighting in defense of their land, shall join in the general, &c.—rather, "his soul is grieved" (1Sa 1:8) [Maurer].1096JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5. My—The prophet himself is moved with pity for Moab. Ministers, in denouncing the wrathof God against sinners, should do it with tender sorrow, not with exultation.fugitives—fleeing from Moab, wander as far as to Zoar, on the extreme boundary south of theDead Sea. Horsley translates, "her nobility," or "rulers" (Ho 4:18).heifer, &c.—that is, raising their voices "like a heifer" (compare Jer 48:34, 36). The expression"three years old," implies one at its full vigor (Ge 15:9), as yet not brought under the yoke; as Moabheretofore unsubdued, but now about to be broken. So Jer 31:18; Ho 4:13. Maurer translates, "Eglath"(in English Version, "a heifer") Shelishijah (that is, the third, to distinguish it from two others ofthe same name).by the mounting up—up the ascent.Luhith—a mountain in Moab.Horonaim—a town of Moab not far from Zoar (Jer 48:5). It means "the two poles," being nearcaves.cry of destruction—a cry appropriate to the destruction which visits their country.6. For—the cause of their flight southwards (2Ki 3:19, 25). "For" the northern regions and eventhe city Nimrim (the very name of which means "limpid waters," in Gilead near Jordan) are withoutwater or herbage.7. Therefore—because of the devastation of the land.abundance—literally, "that which is over and above" the necessaries of life.brook of … willows—The fugitives flee from Nimrim, where the waters have failed, to placesbetter watered. Margin has "valley of Arabians"; that is, to the valley on the boundary betweenthem and Arabia-Petræa; now Wady-el Arabah. "Arabia" means a "desert."8. Eglaim—(Eze 47:10), En-eglaim. Not the Agalum of Eusebius, eight miles from Areopolistowards the south; the context requires a town on the very borders of Moab or beyond them.Beer-elim—literally, "the well of the Princes"—(so Nu 21:16-18). Beyond the east borders ofMoab.9. Dimon—same as Dibon (Isa 15:2). Its waters are the Arnon.full of blood—The slain of Moab shall be so many.bring more—fresh calamities, namely, the "lions" afterwards mentioned (2Ki 17:25; Jer 5:6;15:3). Vitringa understands Nebuchadnezzar as meant by "the lion"; but it is plural, "lions." The"more," or in Hebrew, "additions," he explains of the addition made to the waters of Dimon by thestreams of blood of the slain.CHAPTER 16Isa 16:1-14. Continuation of the Prophecy as to Moab.1. lamb—advice of the prophet to the Moabites who had fled southwards to Idumea, to sendto the king of Judah the tribute of lambs, which they had formerly paid to Israel, but which theyhad given up (2Ki 3:4, 5). David probably imposed this tribute before the severance of Judah andIsrael (2Sa 8:2). Therefore Moab is recommended to gain the favor and protection of Judah, bypaying it to the Jewish king. Type of the need of submitting to Messiah (Ps 2:10-12; Ro 12:1).from Sela to—rather, "from Petra through (literally, 'towards') the wilderness" [Maurer]. "Sela"means "a rock," Petra in Greek; the capital of Idumea and Arabia-Petræa; the dwellings are mostly1097JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhewn out of the rock. The country around was a vast common ("wilderness") or open pasturage,to which the Moabites had fled on the invasion from the west (Isa 15:7).ruler of the land—namely, of Idumea, that is, the king of Judah; Amaziah had become masterof Idumea and Sela (2Ki 14:7).2. cast out of … nest—rather, "as a brood cast out" (in apposition with "a wandering bird," orrather, wandering birds), namely, a brood just fledged and expelled from the nest in which theywere hatched [Horsley]. Compare Isa 10:14; De 32:11.daughters of Moab—that is, the inhabitants of Moab. So 2Ki 19:21; Ps 48:11; Jer 46:11; La4:22 [Maurer].at the fords—trying to cross the boundary river of Moab, in order to escape out of the land.Ewald and Maurer make "fords" a poetical expression for "the dwellers on Arnon," answering to theparallel clause of the same sense, "daughters of Moab."3-5. Gesenius, Maurer, &c., regard these verses as an address of the fugitive Moabites to the Jewsfor protection; they translate Isa 16:4, "Let mine outcasts of Moab dwell with thee, Judah"; theprotection will be refused by the Jews, for the pride of Moab (Isa 16:6). Vitringa makes it an additionaladvice to Moab, besides paying tribute. Give shelter to the Jewish outcasts who take refuge in thyland (Isa 16:3, 4); so "mercy" will be shown thee in turn by whatever king sits on the "throne" of"David" (Isa 16:5). Isaiah foresees that Moab will be too proud to pay the tribute, or conciliateJudah by sheltering its outcasts (Isa 16:6); therefore judgment shall be executed. However, as Moabjust before is represented as itself an outcast in Idumea, it seems incongruous that it should becalled on to shelter Jewish outcasts. So that it seems rather to foretell the ruined state of Moab whenits people should beg the Jews for shelter, but be refused for their pride.make … shadow as … night … in … noonday—emblem of a thick shelter from the glaringnoonday heat (Isa 4:6; 25:4; 32:2).bewray … wandereth—Betray not the fugitive to his pursuer.4. Rather, "Let the outcasts of Moab dwell with thee" (Judah) [Horsley].for the extortioner, &c.—The Assyrian oppressor at an end—By the time that Moab begs Judah for shelter, Judah shall be in a condition toafford it, for the Assyrian oppressor shall have been "consumed out of the land."5. If Judah shelters the suppliant Moab, allowing him to remain in Idumea, a blessing willredound to Judah itself and its "throne."truth … judgment … righteousness—language so divinely framed as to apply to "the latterdays" under King Messiah, when "the Lord shall bring again the captivity of Moab" (Ps 72:2; 96:13;98:9; Jer 48:47; Ro 11:12).hasting—"prompt in executing."6. We—Jews. We reject Moab's supplication for his pride.lies—false boasts.not be so—rather, "not right"; shall prove vain (Isa 25:10; Jer 48:29, 30; Zep 2:8). "It shall notbe so; his lies shall not so effect it."7. Therefore—all hope of being allowed shelter by the Jews being cut off.foundations—that is, "ruins"; because, when houses are pulled down, the "foundations" aloneare left (Isa 58:12). Jeremiah, in the parallel place (Jer 48:31), renders it "men," who are the moralfoundations or stay of a city.Kirhareseth—literally, "a citadel of brick."1098JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsurely they are stricken—rather, joined with "mourn"; "Ye shall mourn utterly stricken" [Maurerand Horsley].8. fields—vine-fields (De 32:32).vine of Sibmah—near Heshbon: namely, languishes.lords of … heathen—The heathen princes, the Assyrians, &c., who invaded Moab, destroyedhis vines. So Jeremiah in the parallel place (Jer 48:32, 33). Maurer thinks the following words requirerather the rendering, "Its (the vine of Sibmah) shoots (the wines got from them) overpowered (byits generous flavor and potency) the lords of the nations" (Ge 49:11, 12, 22).come … Jazer—They (the vine shoots) reached even to Jazer, fifteen miles from Heshbon.wandered—They overran in wild luxuriance the wilderness of Arabia, encompassing Moab.the sea—the Dead Sea; or else some lake near Jazer now dry; in Jer 48:32 called "the sea ofJazer"; but see on Jer 48:32 (Ps 80:8-11).9. I—will bewail for its desolation, though I belong to another nation (see on Isa 15:5).with … weeping of Jazer—as Jazer weeps.shouting for … fallen—rather, "Upon thy summer fruits and upon thy luxuriant vines theshouting (the battle shout, instead of the joyous shout of the grape-gatherers, usual at the vintage)is fallen" (Isa 16:10; Jer 25:30; 51:14). In the parallel passage (Jer 48:32) the words substantiallyexpress the same sense. "The spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits."10. gladness—such as is felt in gathering a rich harvest. There shall be no harvest or vintageowing to the desolation; therefore no "gladness."11. bowels—in Scripture the seat of yearning compassion. It means the inward seat of emotion,the heart, &c. (Isa 63:15; compare Isa 15:5; Jer 48:36).sound … harp—as its strings vibrate when beaten with the plectrum or hand.12. when it is seen that—rather, "When Moab shall have appeared (before his gods; compareEx 23:15), when he is weary (that is, when he shall have fatigued himself with observing burdensomerites; 1Ki 18:26, &c.), on the high place (compare Isa 15:2), and shall come to his sanctuary (ofthe idol Chemosh on Mount Nebo) to pray, he shall not prevail"; he shall effect nothing by hisprayers [Maurer].13. since that time—rather, "respecting that time" [Horsley]. Barnes translates it, "formerly" incontrast to "but now" (Isa 16:14): heretofore former prophecies (Ex 15:15; Nu 21:29) have beengiven as to Moab, of which Isaiah has given the substance: but now a definite and steady time alsois fixed.14. three years … hireling—Just as a hireling has his fixed term of engagement, which neitherhe nor his master will allow to be added to or to be taken from, so the limit within which Moab isto fall is unalterably fixed (Isa 21:16). Fulfilled about the time when the Assyrians led Israel intocaptivity. The ruins of Elealeh, Heshbon, Medeba, Dibon, &c., still exist to confirm the inspirationof Scripture. The accurate particularity of specification of the places three thousand years ago,confirmed by modern research, is a strong testimony to the truth of prophecy.CHAPTER 17Isa 17:1-11. Prophecy Concerning Damascus and Its Ally Samaria, that is, Syria and Israel, which hadleagued together (seventh and eighth chapters).1099JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonAlready, Tiglath-pileser had carried away the people of Damascus to Kir, in the fourth year ofAhaz (2Ki 16:9); but now in Hezekiah's reign a further overthrow is foretold (Jer 49:23; Zec 9:1).Also, Shalmaneser carried away Israel from Samaria to Assyria (2Ki 17:6; 18:10, 11) in the sixthyear of Hezekiah of Judah (the ninth year of Hoshea of Israel). This prophecy was, doubtless, givenpreviously in the first years of Hezekiah when the foreign nations came into nearer collision withJudah, owing to the threatening aspect of Assyria.1. Damascus—put before Israel (Ephraim, Isa 17:3), which is chiefly referred to in what follows,because it was the prevailing power in the league; with it Ephraim either stood or fell (Isa 7:1-25).2. cities of Aroer—that is, the cities round Aroer, and under its jurisdiction [Gesenius]. So "citieswith their villages" (Jos 15:44); "Heshbon and all her cities" (Jos 13:17). Aroer was nearRabbahammon, at the river of Gad, an arm of the Jabbok (2Sa 24:5), founded by the Gadites (Nu32:34).for flocks—(Isa 5:17).3. fortress … cease—The strongholds shall be pulled down (Samaria especially: Ho 10:14;Mic 1:6; Hab 1:10).remnant of Syria—all that was left after the overthrow by Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 16:9).as the glory of … Israel—They shall meet with the same fate as Israel, their ally.4. glory of Jacob—the kingdom of Ephraim and all that they rely on (Ho 12:2; Mic 1:5).fatness … lean—(See on Isa 10:16).5. harvestman, &c.—The inhabitants and wealth of Israel shall be swept away, and but fewleft behind just as the husbandman gathers the corn and the fruit, and leaves only a few gleaningears and grapes (2Ki 18:9-11).with his arm—He collects the standing grain with one arm, so that he can cut it with the sicklein the other hand.Rephaim—a fertile plain at the southwest of Jerusalem toward Beth-lehem and the country ofthe Philistines (2Sa 5:18-22).6. in it—that is, in the land of Israel.two or three … in the top—A few poor inhabitants shall be left in Israel, like the two or threeolive berries left on the topmost boughs, which it is not worth while taking the trouble to try toreach.7. look to his Maker—instead of trusting in their fortresses—(Isa 17:3; Mic 7:7).8. groves—A symbolical tree is often found in Assyrian inscriptions, representing the hosts ofheaven ("Saba"), answering to Ashteroth or Astarte, the queen of heaven, as Baal or Bel is the king.Hence the expression, "image of the grove," is explained (2Ki 21:7).images—literally, "images to the sun," that is, to Baal, who answers to the sun, as Astarte tothe hosts of heaven (2Ki 23:5; Job 31:26).9. forsaken bough—rather "the leavings of woods," what the axeman leaves when he cutsdown the grove (compare Isa 17:6).which they left because of—rather, "which (the enemies) shall leave for the children of Israel";literally, "shall leave (in departing) from before the face of the children of Israel" [Maurer]. But afew cities out of many shall be left to Israel, by the purpose of God, executed by the Assyrian.10. forgotten … God of … salvation … rock—(De 32:15, 18).plants—rather, "nursery grounds," "pleasure-grounds" [Maurer].set in—rather, "set them," the pleasure-grounds.1100JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstrange slips—cuttings of plants from far, and therefore valuable.11. In the day … thy plant—rather, "In the day of thy planting" [Horsley].shalt … make … grow—Maurer translates, "Thou didst fence it," namely, the pleasure-ground.The parallel clause, "Make … flourish," favors English Version. As soon as thou plantest, it the morning—that is, immediately after; so in Ps 90:14, the Hebrew, "in the morning," istranslated "early."but … shall be a heap—rather, "but (promising as was the prospect) the harvest is gone"[Horsley].in … day of grief—rather, "in the day of (expected) possession" [Maurer]. "In the day ofinundation" [Horsley].of desperate sorrow—rather, "And the sorrow shall be desperate or irremediable." In EnglishVersion "heap" and "sorrow" may be taken together by hendiadys. "The heap of the harvest shallbe desperate sorrow" [Rosenmuller].Isa 17:12-18:7. Sudden Destruction of a Great Army in Judea (namely that of the Assyrian Sennacherib),AND Announcement of the Event to the Ethiopian Ambassadors.The connection of this fragment with what precedes is: notwithstanding the calamities comingon Israel, the people of God shall not be utterly destroyed (Isa 6:12, 13); the Assyrian spoilers shallperish (Isa 17:13, 14).12. Woe … multitude—rather, "Ho (Hark)! a noise of," &c. The prophet in vision perceivesthe vast and mixed Assyrian hosts (Hebrew, "many peoples," see on Isa 5:26): on the hills of Judah(so "mountains," Isa 17:13): but at the "rebuke" of God, they shall "flee as chaff."to the rushing … that make—rather, "the roaring … roareth" (compare Isa 8:7; Jer 6:23).13. shall … shall—rather, "God rebuketh (Ps 9:5) them, and they flee—are chased"; the eventis set before the eyes as actually present, not future.chaff of … mountains—Threshing floors in the East are in the open air on elevated places, soas to catch the wind which separates the chaff from the wheat (Ps 88:13; Ho 13:3).rolling thing—anything that rolls: stubble.14. eventide … before morning—fulfilled to the letter in the destruction "before morning" ofthe vast host that "at eveningtide" was such a terror ("trouble") to Judah; on the phrase see Ps 90:6;30:5.he is not—namely, the—the Jews. A general declaration of the doom that awaits the foes of God's people (Isa 54:17).CHAPTER 18Isa 18:1-7.Isaiah announces the overthrow of Sennacherib's hosts and desires the Ethiopian ambassadors,now in Jerusalem, to bring word of it to their own nation; and he calls on the whole world to witnessthe event (Isa 18:3). As Isa 17:12-14 announced the presence of the foe, so Isa 18:1-7 foretells hisoverthrow.1. Woe—The heading in English Version, "God will destroy the Ethiopians," is a mistake arisingfrom the wrong rendering "Woe," whereas the Hebrew does not express a threat, but is an appeal1101JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncalling attention (Isa 55:1; Zec 2:6): "Ho." He is not speaking against but to the Ethiopians, callingon them to hear his prophetical announcement as to the destruction of their enemies.shadowing with wings—rather, "land of the winged bark"; that is, "barks with wing-like sails,answering to vessels of bulrushes" in Isa 18:2; the word "rivers," in the parallelism, also favors it;so the Septuagint and Chaldee [Ewald]. "Land of the clanging sound of wings," that is, armies, asin Isa 8:8; the rendering "bark," or "ship," is rather dubious [Maurer]. The armies referred to arethose of Tirhakah, advancing to meet the Assyrians (Isa 37:9). In English Version, "shadowing"means protecting—stretching out its wings to defend a feeble people, namely, the Hebrews [Vitringa].The Hebrew for "wings" is the same as for the idol Cneph, which was represented in templesculptures with wings (Ps 91:4).beyond—Meroe, the island between the "rivers" Nile and Astaboras is meant, famed for itscommerce, and perhaps the seat of the Ethiopian government, hence addressed here as representingthe whole empire: remains of temples are still found, and the name of "Tirhakah" in the inscriptions.This island region was probably the chief part of Queen Candace's kingdom (Ac 8:27). For "beyond"others translate less literally "which borderest on."Ethiopia—literally, "Cush." Horsley is probably right that the ultimate and fullest reference ofthe prophecy is to the restoration of the Jews in the Holy Land through the instrumentality of somedistant people skilled in navigation (Isa 18:2; Isa 60:9, 10; Ps 45:15; 68:31; Zep 3:10). Phoenicianvoyagers coasting along would speak of all Western remote lands as "beyond" the Nile's mouths."Cush," too, has a wide sense, being applied not only to Ethiopia, but Arabia-Deserta and Felix,and along the Persian Gulf, as far as the Tigris (Ge 2:13).2. ambassadors—messengers sent to Jerusalem at the time that negotiations passed betweenTirhakah and Hezekiah against the expected attack of Sennacherib (Isa 37:9).by … sea—on the Nile (Isa 19:5): as what follows proves.vessels of bulrushes—light canoes, formed of papyrus, daubed over with pitch: so the "ark"in which Moses was exposed (Ex 2:3).Go—Isaiah tells them to take back the tidings of what God is about to do (Isa 18:4) against thecommon enemy of both Judah and Ethiopia.scattered and peeled—rather, "strong and energetic" [Maurer]. The Hebrew for "strong" isliterally, "drawn out" (Margin; Ps 36:10; Ec 2:3). "Energetic," literally, "sharp" (Hab 1:8, Margin;the verb means to "sharpen" a sword, Eze 21:15, 16); also "polished." As Herodotus (3:20, 114)characterizes the Ethiopians as "the tallest and fairest of men," G. V. Smith translates, "tall andcomely"; literally, "extended" (Isa 45:14, "men of stature") and polished (the Ethiopians had"smooth, glossy skins"). In English Version the reference is to the Jews, scattered outcasts, andloaded with indignity (literally, "having their hair torn off," Horsley).terrible—the Ethiopians famed for warlike prowess [Rosenmuller]. The Jews who, because ofGod's plague, made others to fear the like (De 28:37). Rather, "awfully remarkable" [Horsley]. Godputs the "terror" of His people into the surrounding nations at the first (Ex 23:27; Jos 2:9); so itshall be again in the latter days (Zec 12:2, 3).from … beginning hitherto—so English Version rightly. But Gesenius, "to the terrible nation(of upper Egypt) and further beyond" (to the Ethiopians, properly so called).meted out—Hebrew, "of line." The measuring-line was used in destroying buildings (Isa 34:11;2Ki 21:13; La 2:8). Hence, actively, it means here "a people meting out,—an all-destroying people";which suits the context better than "meted," passively [Maurer]. Horsley, understanding it of the Jews,1102JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontranslates it, "Expecting, expecting (in a continual attitude of expectation of Messiah) and trampledunder foot"; a graphic picture of them. Most translate, of strength, strength (from a root, to bracethe sinews), that is, a most powerful people.trodden down—true of the Jews. But Maurer translates it actively, a people "treading underfoot" all its enemies, that is, victorious (Isa 14:25), namely, the Ethiopians.spoiled—"cut up." The Nile is formed by the junction of many streams in Abyssinia, the Atbara,the Astapus or Blue river (between which two rivers Meroe, the "Ethiopia" here meant, lies), andthe Astaboras or White river; these streams wash down the soil along their banks in the "land" ofUpper Egypt and deposit it on that of Lower Egypt. G. V. Smith translates it, "Divide." Horsley takesit figuratively of the conquering armies which have often "spoiled" Judea.3. see ye … hear ye—rather, "ye shall see … shall hear." Call to the whole earth to be witnessesof what Jehovah ("He") is about to do. He will "lift up an ensign," calling the Assyrian motley hoststogether (Isa 5:26) on "the mountains" round Jerusalem, to their own destruction. This (the eighteenthchapter) declares the coming overthrow of those armies whose presence is announced in Isa 17:12,13. The same motive, which led Hezekiah to seek aid from Egypt, led him to accept gladly theEthiopian Tirhakah's aid (Isa 36:6; 37:9). Ethiopia, Egypt, and Judea were probably leagued togetheragainst the common enemy, 713 B.C. See notes on the twenty-second chapter, where a differenceof tone (as referring to a different period) as to Ethiopia is observable. Horsley takes the "ensign" tobe the cross, and the "trumpet" the Gospel trumpet, which shall be sounded more loudly in the lastdays.4. take … rest … consider—I will calmly look on and not interpose, while all seems to promisesuccess to the enemy; when figuratively, "the sun's heat" and "the night dews" ripen their "harvest";but "before" it reaches its maturity I will destroy it (Isa 18:5; Ec 8:11, 12).like a clear heat—rather, "at the time of the clear (serene) heat" [Maurer].upon herbs—answering to "harvest" in the parallel clause. Maurer translates, "in the sunlight"(Job 31:26; 37:21; Hab 3:4).like … dew—rather, "at the time of the dew cloud." God's "silence" is mistaken by the ungodlyfor consent; His delay in taking vengeance for forgetfulness (Ps 50:21); so it shall be before thevengeance which in the last day shall usher in the restoration of the Jews (Isa 34:1-8; 57:11, endof the verse, 2Pe 3:3-10).5. For—rather, "But."perfect—perfected. When the enemy's plans are on the verge of completion.sour grape … flower—rather, "when the flower shall become the ripening grape" [Maurer].sprigs—the shoots with the grapes on them. God will not only disconcert their present plans,but prevent them forming any future ones. Horsley takes the "harvest" and vintage here as referringto purifying judgments which cause the excision of the ungodly from the earth, and the placing ofthe faithful in a state of peace on the earth: not the last judgment (Joh 15:2; Re 14:15-20).6. birds … beasts—transition from the image "sprigs," "branches," to the thing meant: theAssyrian soldiers and leaders shall be the prey of birds and beasts, the whole year through, "winter"and "summer," so numerous shall be their carcasses. Horsley translates the Hebrew which is singular:"upon it," not "upon them"; the "it" refers to God's "dwelling-place" (Isa 18:4) in the Holy Land,which Antichrist ("the bird of prey" with the "beasts," his rebel hosts) is to possess himself of, andwhere he is to perish.1103JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. present … people scattered and peeled—For the right rendering, see on Isa 18:2. Therepetition of epithets enhances the honor paid to Jehovah by so mighty a nation. The Ethiopians,wonder-struck at such an interposition of Jehovah in behalf of His people, shall send gifts toJerusalem in His honor (Isa 16:1; Ps 68:31; 72:10). Thus translate: "a present … from a people."Or translate, as English Version; "the present" will mean "the people" of Ethiopia converted to God(Ro 15:16). Horsley takes the people converted to Jehovah, as the Jews in the latter of the name—where Jehovah peculiarly manifests His glory; Ac 2:10 and 8:27 showhow worshippers came up to Jerusalem from Egypt" and "Ethiopia." Frumentius, an Egyptian, inthe fourth century, converted Abyssinia to Christianity; and a Christian church, under an abuna orbishop, still flourishes there. The full accomplishment is probably still future.CHAPTER 19Isa 19:1-25.The nineteenth and twentieth chapters are connected, but with an interval between. Egypt hadbeen held by an Ethiopian dynasty, Sabacho, Sevechus, or Sabacho II, and Tirhakah, for forty orfifty years. Sevechus (called So, the ally of Hoshea, 2Ki 17:4), retired from Lower Egypt on accountof the resistance of the priests; and perhaps also, as the Assyrians threatened Lower Egypt. On hiswithdrawal, Sethos, one of the priestly caste, became supreme, having Tanis ("Zoan") or elseMemphis as his capital, 718 B.C.; while the Ethiopians retained Upper Egypt, with Thebes as itscapital, under Tirhakah. A third native dynasty was at Sais, in the west of Lower Egypt; to this ata later period belonged Psammetichus, the first who admitted Greeks into Egypt and its armies; hewas one of the dodecarchy, a number of petty kings between whom Egypt was divided, and by aidof foreign auxiliaries overcame the rest, 670 B.C. To the divisions at this last time, Gesenius refersIsa 19:2; and Psammetichus, Isa 19:4, "a cruel lord." The dissensions of the ruling castes are certainlyreferred to. But the time referred to is much earlier than that of Psammetichus. In Isa 19:1, theinvasion of Egypt is represented as caused by "the Lord"; and in Isa 19:17, "Judah" is spoken ofas "a terror to Egypt," which it could hardly have been by itself. Probably, therefore, the Assyrianinvasion of Egypt under Sargon, when Judah was the ally of Assyria, and Hezekiah had not yetrefused tribute as he did in the beginning of Sennacherib's reign, is meant. That Assyria was inIsaiah's mind appears from the way in which it is joined with Israel and Egypt in the worship ofJehovah (Isa 19:24, 25). Thus the dissensions referred to (Isa 19:2) allude to the time of thewithdrawal of the Ethiopians from Lower Egypt, probably not without a struggle, especially withthe priestly caste; also to the time when Sethos usurped the throne and entered on the contest withthe military caste, by the aid of the town populations: when the Saitic dynasty was another causeof division. Sargon's reign was between 722-715 B.C. answering to 718 B.C., when Sethos usurpedhis throne [G. V. Smith].1. burden—(See on Isa 13:1).upon … cloud—(Ps 104:3; 18:10).come into Egypt—to inflict vengeance. "Egypt," in Hebrew, Misraim, plural form, to expressthe two regions of Egypt. Bunsen observes, The title of their kings runs thus: "Lord of Upper andLower Egypt."1104JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonidols—the bull, crocodile, &c. The idols poetically are said to be "moved" with fear at thepresence of one mightier than even they were supposed to be (Ex 12:12; Jer 43:12).2. set—stir up. Gesenius translates, "arm."Egyptians against the Egyptians—Lower against Upper: and Saitic against both. (See Isa3:10). Newton refers it to the civil wars between Apries and Amasis at the time of Nebuchadnezzar'sinvasion; also between Tachos, Nectanebus, and the Mendesians, just before Ochus subdued Egypt.kingdom against kingdom—The Septuagint has "nome against nome"; Egypt was dividedinto forty-two nomes or districts.3. spirit—wisdom, for which Egypt was famed (Isa 31:2; 1Ki 4:30; Ac 7:22); answering to"counsel" in the parallel—literally, "be poured out," that is, be made void (Jer 19:7). They shall "seek" help fromsources that can afford none, "charmers," &c. (Isa 8:19).charmers—literally, "those making a faint sound"; the soothsayers imitated the faint soundwhich was attributed to the spirits of the dead (see on Isa 8:19).4. cruel lord—"Sargon," in Hebrew it is lords; but plural is often used to express greatness,where, one alone is meant (Ge 39:2). The parallel word "king" (singular) proves it. Newton makesthe general reference to be to Nebuchadnezzar, and a particular reference to Cambyses, son ofCyrus (who killed the Egyptian god, Apis), and Ochus, Persian conquerors of Egypt, noted for their"fierce cruelty." Gesenius refers it to Psammetichus, who had brought into Egypt Greek and otherforeign mercenaries to subdue the other eleven princes of the dodecarchy.5. the sea—the Nile. Physical calamities, it is observed in history, often accompany politicalconvulsions (Eze 30:12). The Nile shall "fail" to rise to its wonted height, the result of which willbe barrenness and famine. Its "waters" at the time of the overflow resemble "a sea" [Pliny, NaturalHistory, 85.11]; and it is still called El-Bahr," "the sea," by the Egyptians (Isa 18:2; Jer 51:36). Apublic record is kept at Cairo of the daily rise of the water at the proper time of overflow, namely,August: if it rises to a less height than twelve cubits, it will not overflow the land, and famine mustbe the result. So, also, when it rises higher than sixteen; for the waters are not drained off in timesufficient to sow the seed.6. they shall turn the rivers—rather, "the streams shall become putrid"; that is, the artificialstreams made for irrigation shall become stagnant and offensive when the waters fail [Maurer].Horsley, with the Septuagint, translates, "And waters from the sea shall be drunk"; by the failure ofthe river water they shall be reduced to sea water.brooks of defence—rather, "canals of Egypt"; "canals," literally, "Niles," Nile canals, the pluralof the Egyptian term for the great river. The same Hebrew word, Matzor, whence comes Mitzraim,expresses Egypt, and a place of "defense." Horsley, as English Version translates it, "embankedcanals,"reeds … flags—the papyrus. "Reed and rush"; utter withering.7. paper-reeds—rather, pastures, literally, "places naked" of wood, and famed for rich herbage,on the banks of the Nile [Gesenius]. Compare Ge 13:10; De 11:10. Horsley translates, "nakednessupon the river," descriptive of the appearance of a river when its bottom is bare and its banksstripped of verdure by long drought: so Vulgate.the brooks—the river.1105JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmouth—rather, "the source" [Vulgate]. "Even close to the river's side vegetation shall be sowithered as to be scattered in the shape of powder by the wind" (English Version, "driven away")[Horsley].8. fishers—The Nile was famed for fish (Nu 11:5); many would be thrown out of employmentby the failure of fishes.angle—a hook. Used in the "brooks" or canals, as the "net" was in "the waters" of the riveritself.9. fine flax—Gesenius, for "fine," translates, "combed"; fine "linen" was worn by the rich only(Lu 16:19). Egypt was famous for it (Ex 9:31; 1Ki 10:28; Pr 7:16; Eze 27:7). The processes of itsmanufacture are represented on the Egyptian tombs. Israel learned the art in Egypt (Ex 26:36). Thecloth now found on the mummies was linen, as is shown by the microscope. Wilkinson mentionslinen from Egypt which has five hundred forty (or two hundred seventy double) threads in one inchin the warp; whereas some modern cambric has but a hundred sixty [Barnes].networks—rather, white cloth (Es 1:6; 8:16).10. in the purposes—rather, "the foundations," that is, "the nobles shall be broken" or broughtlow: so Isa 3:1; Ps 11:3; compare Isa 19:13, "The princes—the stay of the tribes. The Arabs call aprince "a pillar of the people" [Maurer]. "Their weaving-frames" [Horsley]. "Dykes" [Barnes].all that make sluices, &c.—"makers of dams," made to confine the waters which overflowfrom the Nile in artificial fish-ponds [Horsley]. "Makers of gain," that is, the common people whohave to earn their livelihood, as opposed to the "nobles" previously [Maurer].11. Zoan—The Greeks called it Tanis, a city of Lower Egypt, east of the Tanitic arms of theNile, now San; it was one the Egyptian towns nearest to Palestine (Nu 13:22), the scene of Moses'miracles (Ps 78:12, 43). It, or else Memphis, was the capital under Sethos.I am … son of the wise … kings—Ye have no advice to suggest to Pharaoh in the crisis,notwithstanding that ye boast of descent from wise and royal ancestors. The priests were the usual"counsellors" of the Egyptian king. He was generally chosen from the priestly caste, or, if from thewarrior caste, he was admitted into the sacred order, and was called a priest. The priests are,therefore, meant by the expression, "son of the wise, and of ancient kings"; this was their favoriteboast (Herodotus, 2.141; compare Am 7:14; Ac 23:6; Php 3:5). "Pharaoh" was the common name ofall the kings: Sethos, probably, is here meant.12. let them know—that is, How is it that, with all their boast of knowing the future [Diodorus,1.81], they do not know what Jehovah of hosts …13. Noph—called also Moph; Greek, Memphis (Ho 9:6); on the western bank of the Nile, capitalof Lower Egypt, second only to Thebes in all Egypt: residence of the kings, until the Ptolemiesremoved to Alexandria; the word means the "port of the good" [Plutarch]. The military caste probablyruled in it: "they also are deceived," in fancying their country secure from Assyrian invasion.stay of … tribes—rather, "corner-stone of her castes" [Maurer], that is, the princes, the tworuling castes, the priests and the warriors: image from a building which rests mainly on itscorner-stones (see on Isa 19:10; Isa 28:16; Ps 118:22; Nu 24:17, Margin; Jud 20:2; 1Sa 14:28,Margin; Zec 10:4).14. err in every work thereof—referring to the anarchy arising from their internal feuds. Horsleytranslates, "with respect to all His (God's) work"; they misinterpreted God's dealings at every step."Mingled" contains the same image as "drunken"; as one mixes spices with wine to make it1106JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonintoxicating (Isa 5:22; Pr 9:2, 5), so Jehovah has poured among them a spirit of giddiness, so thatthey are as helpless as a "drunken man."15. work for Egypt—nothing which Egypt can do to extricate itself from the difficulty.head or tail—high or low (Isa 19:11-15, and Isa 19:8-10).branch or rush—the lofty palm branch or the humble reed (Isa 9:14, 15; 10:33, 34).16. like … women—timid and helpless (Jer 51:30; Na 3:13).shaking of … hand—His judgments by means of the invaders (Isa 10:5, 32; 11:15).17. Judah … terror unto Egypt—not by itself: but at this time Hezekiah was the activesubordinate ally of Assyria in its invasion of Egypt under Sargon. Similarly to the alliance of Judahwith Assyria here is 2Ki 23:29, where Josiah takes the field against Pharaoh-nechoh of Egypt,probably as ally of Assyria against Egypt [G. V. Smith]. Vitringa explains it that Egypt in its calamitieswould remember that prophets of Judah had foretold them, and so Judah would be "a terror untoEgypt."thereof—of—Egypt.18-22. In that day, &c.—Suffering shall lead to repentance. Struck with "terror" and "afraid"(Isa 19:17) because of Jehovah's judgments, Egypt shall be converted to Him: nay, even Assyriashall join in serving Him; so that Israel, Assyria, and Egypt, once mutual foes, shall be boundtogether by the tie of a common faith as one people. So a similar issue from other prophecies (Isa18:7; 23:18).five cities—that is, several cities, as in Isa 17:6; 30:17; Ge 43:34; Le 26:8. Rather, five definitecities of Lower Egypt (Isa 19:11, 13; 30:4), which had close intercourse with the neighboring Jewishcities [Maurer]; some say, Heliopolis, Leontopolis (else Diospolis), Migdol, Daphne (Tahpanes),and Memphis.language of Canaan—that is, of the Hebrews in Canaan, the language of revelation; figurativelyfor, They shall embrace the Jewish religion: so "a pure language" and conversion to God areconnected in Zep 3:9; as also the first confounding and multiplication of languages was thepunishment of the making of gods at Babel, other than the One God. Pentecost (Ac 2:4) was thecounterpart of Babel: the separation of nations is not to hinder the unity of faith; the full realizationof this is yet future (Zec 14:9; Joh 17:21). The next clause, "swear to the Lord of Hosts," agreeswith this view; that is, bind themselves to Him by solemn covenant (Isa 45:23; 65:16; De 6:13).city of destruction—Onias; "city of the sun," that is, On, or Heliopolis; he persuaded PtolemyPhilometer (149 B.C.) to let him build a temple in the prefecture (nome) of Heliopolis, on the groundthat it would induce Jews to reside there, and that the very site was foretold by Isaiah six hundredyears before. The reading of the Hebrew text is, however, better supported, "city of destruction";referring to Leontopolis, the site of Onias' temple: which casts a reproach on that city because itwas about to contain a temple rivalling the only sanctioned temple, that at Jerusalem. Maurer, withsome manuscripts, reads "city of defense" or "deliverance"; namely, Memphis, or some such city,to which God was about to send "a saviour" (Isa 19:20), to "deliver them."19. altar—not for sacrifice, but as the "pillar" for memorial and worship (Jos 22:22-26). Isaiahdoes not contemplate a temple in Egypt: for the only legal temple was at Jerusalem; but, like thepatriarchs, they shall have altars in various places.pillar—such as Jacob reared (Ge 28:18; 35:14); it was a common practice in Egypt to raiseobelisks commemorating divine and great events.1107JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonat the border—of Egypt and Judah, to proclaim to both countries the common faith. Thispassage shows how the Holy Spirit raised Isaiah above a narrow-minded nationality to a charityanticipatory of gospel catholicity.20. it—the altar and pillar.a sign—(of the fulfilment of prophecy) to their contemporaries.a witness—to their descendants.unto the Lord—no longer, to their idols, but to Jehovah.for they shall cry—or, "a sign … that they cried, … and He sent to them a saviour"; probably,Alexander the Great (so "a great one"), whom the Egyptians welcomed as a deliverer (Greek, Soter,a title of the Ptolemies) out of the hands of the Persians, who under Cambyses had been their"oppressors." At Alexandria, called from him, the Old Testament was translated into Greek for theGreek-speaking Jews, who in large numbers dwelt in Egypt under the Ptolemies, his successors.Messiah is the antitype ultimately intended (compare Ac 2:10, "Egypt").21. oblation—unbloody.22. return—for heathen sin and idolatry are an apostasy from primitive truth.heal—as described (Isa 19:18-20).23. highway—free communication, resting on the highest basis, the common faith of both (Isa19:18; Isa 11:16). Assyria and Egypt were joined under Alexander as parts of his empire: Jews andproselytes from both met at the feasts of Jerusalem. A type of gospel times to come.serve with—serve Jehovah with the Assyrians. So "serve" is used absolutely (Job 36:11).24. third—The three shall be joined as one nation.blessing—the source of blessings to other nations, and the object of their the midst of the land—rather, "earth" (Mic 5:7). Judah is designed to be the grand centerof the whole earth (Jer 3:17).25. Whom—rather, "Which," namely, "the land," or "earth," that is, the people of it [Maurer].my people—the peculiar designation of Israel, the elect people, here applied to Egypt to expressits entire admission to religious privileges (Ro 9:24-26; 1Pe 2:9, 10).work of my hands—spiritually (Ho 2:23; Eph 2:10).CHAPTER 20Isa 20:1-6. Continuation of the Subject of the Nineteenth Chapter, BUT AT A Later Date. Captivity of Egypt andEthiopia.In the reign of Sargon (722-715 B.C.), the successor of Shalmaneser, an Assyrian invasion ofEgypt took place. Its success is here foretold, and hence a party among the Jews is warned of thefolly of their "expectation" of aid from Egypt or Ethiopia. At a later period (Isa 18:1-7), whenTirhakah of Ethiopia was their ally, the Ethiopians are treated as friends, to whom God announcesthe overthrow of the common Assyrian foe, Sennacherib. Egypt and Ethiopia in this chapter (Isa20:3, 4) are represented as allied together, the result no doubt of fear of the common foe; previouslythey had been at strife, and the Ethiopian king had, just before Sethos usurpation, withdrawn fromoccupation of part of Lower Egypt. Hence, "Egypt" is mentioned alone in Isa 19:1-25, which refersto a somewhat earlier stage of the same event: a delicate mark of truth. Sargon seems to have beenthe king who finished the capture of Samaria which Shalmaneser began; the alliance of Hoshea1108JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwith So or Sabacho II of Ethiopia, and his refusal to pay the usual tribute, provoked Shalmaneserto the invasion. On clay cylindrical seals found in Sennacherib's palace at Koyunjik, the name ofSabacho is deciphered; the two seals are thought, from the inscriptions, to have been attached tothe treaty of peace between Egypt and Assyria, which resulted from the invasion of Egypt bySargon, described in this chapter; 2Ki 18:10 curiously confirms the view derived from Assyrianinscriptions, that though Shalmaneser began, Sargon finished the conquest of Samaria; "they tookit" (compare 2Ki 17:4-6). In Sargon's palace at Khorsabad, inscriptions state that 27,280 Israeliteswere led captive by the founder of the palace. While Shalmaneser was engaged in the siege ofSamaria, Sargon probably usurped the supreme power and destroyed him; the siege began in 723B.C., and ended in 721 B.C., the first year of Sargon's reign. Hence arises the paucity of inscriptionsof the two predecessors of Sargon, Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser; the usurper destroyed them,just as Tiglath-pileser destroyed those of Pul (Sardanapalus), the last of the old line of Ninus; thenames of his father and grandfather, which have been deciphered in the palace of his son Sennacherib,do not appear in the list of Assyrian kings, which confirms the view that he was a satrap whousurped the throne. He was so able a general that Hezekiah made no attempt to shake off the tributeuntil the reign of Sennacherib; hence Judah was not invaded now as the lands of the Philistines andEgypt were. After conquering Israel he sent his general, Tartan, to attack the Philistine cities,"Ashdod," &c., preliminary to his invasion of Egypt and Ethiopia; for the line of march to Egyptlay along the southwest coast of Palestine. The inscriptions confirm the prophecy; they tell us hereceived tribute from a Pharaoh of "Egypt"; besides destroying in part the Ethiopian "No-ammon,"or Thebes (Na 3:8); also that he warred with the kings of "Ashdod," Gaza, &c., in harmony withIsaiah here; a memorial tablet of him is found in Cyprus also, showing that he extended his armsto that island. His reign was six or seven years in duration, 722-715 B.C. [G. V. Smith].1. Tartan—probably the same general as was sent by Sennacherib against Hezekiah (2Ki18:17). Gesenius takes "Tartan" as a title.Ashdod—called by the Greeks Azotus (Ac 8:40); on the Mediterranean, one of the "five" citiesof the Philistines. The taking of it was a necessary preliminary to the invasion of Egypt, to whichit was the key in that quarter, the Philistines being allies of Egypt. So strongly did the Assyriansfortify it that it stood a twenty-nine years' siege, when it was retaken by the Egyptian Psammetichus.sent—Sargon himself remained behind engaged with the Phoenician cities, or else led the mainforce more directly into Egypt out of Judah [G. V. Smith].2. by—literally, "by the hand of" (compare Eze 3:14).sackcloth—the loose outer garment of coarse dark hair-cloth worn by mourners (2Sa 3:31) andby prophets, fastened at the waist by a girdle (Mt 3:4; 2Ki 1:8; Zec 13:4).naked—rather, "uncovered"; he merely put off the outer sackcloth, retaining still the tunic orinner vest (1Sa 19:24; Am 2:16; Joh 21:7); an emblem to show that Egypt should be stripped of itspossessions; the very dress of Isaiah was a silent exhortation to repentance.3. three years—Isaiah's symbolical action did not continue all this time, but at intervals, tokeep it before the people's mind during that period [Rosenmuller]. Rather, join "three years" with"sign," a three years' sign, that is, a sign that a three years' calamity would come on Egypt andEthiopia [Barnes], (Isa 8:18). This is the only instance of a strictly symbolical act performed byIsaiah. With later prophets, as Jeremiah and Ezekiel, such acts were common. In some cases theywere performed, not literally, but only in prophetic vision.wonder—rather, "omen"; conveying a threat as to the future [G. V. Smith].1109JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonupon—in reference to, against.4. buttocks uncovered—Belzoni says that captives are found represented thus on Egyptianmonuments (Isa 47:2, 3; Na 3:5, 8, 9), where as here, Egypt and Ethiopia are mentioned as inalliance.5. they—the Philistine allies of Egypt who trusted in it for help against Assyria. A warning tothe party among the Jews, who, though Judah was then the subordinate ally of Assyria, were lookingto Egypt as a preferable ally (Isa 30:7). Ethiopia was their "expectation"; for Palestine had not yetobtained, but hoped for alliance with it. Egypt was their "glory," that is, boast (Isa 13:19); for thealliance with it was completed.6. isle—that is, coast on the Mediterranean—Philistia, perhaps Phoenicia (compare Isa 23:2;11:11; 13:22; Ps 72:10).we—emphatical; if Egypt, in which we trusted, was overcome, how shall we, a small weakstate, escape?CHAPTER 21Isa 21:1-10. Repetition of the Assurance Given in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Chapters to the Jews About to BeCaptives in Babylon, that Their Enemy Should Be Destroyed and They Be Delivered.He does not narrate the event, but graphically supposes himself a watchman in Babylon,beholding the events as they pass.1. desert—the champaign between Babylon and Persia; it was once a desert, and it was tobecome so again.of the sea—The plain was covered with the water of the Euphrates like a "sea" (Jer 51:13, 36;so Isa 11:15, the Nile), until Semiramis raised great dams against it. Cyrus removed these dykes,and so converted the whole country again into a vast desert marsh.whirlwinds in the south—(Job 37:9; Zec 9:14). The south wind comes upon Babylon fromthe deserts of Arabia, and its violence is the greater from its course being unbroken along the plain(Job 1:19).desert—the plain between Babylon and Persia.terrible land—Media; to guard against which was the object of Nitocris' great works [Herodotus,1.185]. Compare as to "terrible" applied to a wilderness, as being full of unknown dangers, De1:29.2. dealeth treacherously—referring to the military stratagem employed by Cyrus in takingBabylon. It may be translated, "is repaid with treachery"; then the subject of the verb is Babylon.She is repaid in her own coin; Isa 33:1; Hab 2:8, favor this.Go up—Isaiah abruptly recites the order which he hears God giving to the Persians, theinstruments of His vengeance (Isa 13:3, 17).Elam—a province of Persia, the original place of their settlement (Ge 10:22), east of theEuphrates. The name "Persia" was not in use until the captivity; it means a "horseman"; Cyrus firsttrained the Persians in horsemanship. It is a mark of authenticity that the name is not found beforeDaniel and Ezekiel [Bochart].thereof—the "sighing" caused by Babylon (Isa 14:7, 8).1110JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. Isaiah imagines himself among the exiles in Babylon and cannot help feeling moved by thecalamities which come on it. So for Moab (Isa 15:5; 16:11).pain—(Compare Isa 13:8; Eze 30:4, 19; Na 2:10).at the hearing—The Hebrew may mean, "I was so bowed down that I could not hear; I wasso dismayed that I could not see" (Ge 16:2; Ps 69:23) [Maurer].4. panted—"is bewildered" [Barnes].night of my pleasure—The prophet supposes himself one of the banqueters at Belshazzar'sfeast, on the night that Babylon was about to be taken by surprise; hence his expression, "mypleasure" (Isa 14:11; Jer 51:39; Da 5:1-31).5. Prepare the table—namely, the feast in Babylon; during which Cyrus opened the dykesmade by Semiramis to confine the Euphrates to one channel and suffered them to overflow thecountry, so that he could enter Babylon by the channel of the river. Isaiah first represents the kingordering the feast to be got ready. The suddenness of the irruption of the foe is graphically expressedby the rapid turn in the language to an alarm addressed to the Babylonian princes, "Arise," &c.(compare Isa 22:13). Maurer translates, "They prepare the table," &c. But see Isa in … watchtower—rather, "set the watch." This done, they thought they might feast inentire security. Babylon had many watchtowers on its walls.anoint … shield—This was done to prevent the leather of the shield becoming hard and liableto crack. "Make ready for defense"; the mention of the "shield" alone implies that it is the Babylonianrevellers who are called on to prepare for instant self-defense. Horsley translates, "Grip the oiledshield."6. Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth—God's direction to Isaiah to set awatchman to "declare" what he sees. But as in Isa 21:10, Isaiah himself is represented as the onewho "declared." Horsley makes him the "watchman," and translates, "Come, let him who standethon the watchtower report what he seeth."7. chariot, &c.—rather, "a body of riders," namely, some riding in pairs on horses (literally,"pairs of horsemen," that is, two abreast), others on asses, others on camels (compare Isa 21:9; Isa22:6). "Chariot" is not appropriate to be joined, as English Version translates, with "asses"; theHebrew means plainly in Isa 21:7, as in Isa 21:9, "a body of men riding." The Persians used assesand camels for war [Maurer]. Horsley translates, "One drawn in a car, with a pair of riders, drawn byan ass, drawn by a camel"; Cyrus is the man; the car drawn by a camel and ass yoked together anddriven by two postilions, one on each, is the joint army of Medes and Persians under their respectiveleaders. He thinks the more ancient military cars were driven by men riding on the beasts that drewthem; Isa 21:9 favors this.8. A lion—rather, "(The watchman) cried, I am as a lion"; so as is understood (Isa 62:5; Ps11:1). The point of comparison to "a lion" is in Re 10:3, the loudness of the cry. But here it is ratherhis vigilance. The lion's eyelids are short, so that, even when asleep, he seems to be on the watch,awake; hence he was painted on doors of temples as the symbol of watchfulness, guarding the place(Hor. Apollo) [Horsley].9. chariot of men—chariots with men in them; or rather, the same body of riders, horsementwo abreast, as in Isa 21:7 [Maurer]. But Horsley, "The man drawn in a car with a pair of riders." Thefirst half of this verse describes what the watchman sees; the second half, what the watchman says,in consequence of what he sees. In the interval between Isa 21:7 and Isa 21:9, the overthrow ofBabylon by the horsemen, or man in the car, is accomplished. The overthrow needed to be announced1111JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto the prophet by the watchman, owing to the great extent of the city. Herodotus (1.131) says thatone part of the city was captured some time before the other received the tidings of it.answered—not to something said previously, but in reference to the subject in the mind of thewriter, to be collected from the preceding discourse: proclaimeth (Job 3:2, Margin; Da 2:26; Ac5:8).fallen … fallen—The repetition expresses emphasis and certainty (Ps 92:9; 93:3; compare Jer51:8; Re 18:2).images—Bel, Merodach, &c. (Jer 50:2; 51:44, 52). The Persians had no images, temples, oraltars, and charged the makers of such with madness [Herodotus 1.131]; therefore they dashed theBabylonian "images broken unto the ground."10. my threshing—that is, my people (the Jews) trodden down by Babylon.corn of my floor—Hebrew, "my son of the floor," that is, my people, treated as corn laid onthe floor for threshing; implying, too, that by affliction, a remnant (grain) would be separated fromthe ungodly (chaff) [Maurer]. Horsley translates, "O thou object of my unremitting prophetic pains."See Isa 28:27, 28. Some, from Jer 51:33, make Babylon the object of the threshing; but Isaiah isplainly addressing his countrymen, as the next words show, not the Babylonians.Isa 21:11, 12. A Prophecy to the Idumeans Who Taunted the Afflicted Jews in the Babylonish Captivity.One out of Seir asks, What of the night? Is there a hope of the dawn of deliverance? Isaiahreplies, The morning is beginning to dawn (to us); but night is also coming (to you). Compare Ps137:7. The Hebrew captives would be delivered, and taunting Edom punished. If the Idumean wishto ask again, he may do so; if he wishes an answer of peace for his country, then let him "return(repent), come" [Barnes].11. Dumah—a tribe and region of Ishmael in Arabia (Ge 25:14; 1Ch 1:30); now called Dumahthe Stony, situated on the confines of Arabia and the Syrian desert; a part put for the whole of Edom.Vitringa thinks "Dumah," Hebrew, "silence," is here used for Idumea, to imply that it was soon tobe reduced to silence or destruction.Seir—the principal mountain in Idumea, south of the Dead Sea, in Arabia-Petræa. "He calleth"ought to be rather, "There is a call from Seir."to me—Isaiah. So the heathen Balak and Ahaziah received oracles from a Hebrew prophet.Watchman—the prophet (Isa 62:6; Jer 6:17), so called, because, like a watchman on the lookoutfrom a tower, he announces future events which he sees in prophetic vision (Hab 2:1, 2).what of the night—What tidings have you to give as to the state of the night? Rather, "Whatremains of the night?" How much of it is past? [Maurer]. "Night" means calamity (Job 35:10; Mic3:6), which, then, in the wars between Egypt and Assyria, pressed sore on Edom; or on Judah (if,as Barnes thinks, the question is asked in mockery of the suffering Jews in Babylon). The repetitionof the question marks, in the former view, the anxiety of the Idumeans.12. Reply of the prophet, The morning (prosperity) cometh, and (soon after follows) the night(adversity). Though you, Idumeans, may have a gleam of prosperity, it will soon be followed byadversity again. Otherwise, as Barnes, "Prosperity cometh (to the Jews) to be quickly followed byadversity (to you, Idumeans, who exult in the fall of Jerusalem, have seized on the southern partof their land in their absence during the captivity, and now deride them by your question)" (Isa34:5-7). This view is favored by Ob 10-21.if ye will inquire, inquire—If ye choose to consult me again, do so (similar phrases occur inGe 43:14; 2Ki 7:4; Es 4:16).1112JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonreturn, come—"Be converted to God (and then), come" [Gesenius]; you will then receive a morefavorable answer.Isa 21:13-17. Prophecy that Arabia Would Be Overrun by a Foreign Foe within a Year.Probably in the wars between Assyria and Egypt; Idumea and Arabia lay somewhat on theintermediate line of march.13. upon—that is, respecting.forest—not a grove of trees, but a region of thick underwood, rugged and inaccessible; forArabia has no forest of trees.travelling companies—caravans: ye shall be driven through fear of the foe to unfrequentedroutes (Isa 33:8; Jud 5:6; Jer 49:8 is parallel to this passage).Dedanim—In North Arabia (Ge 25:3; Jer 25:23; Eze 25:13; 27:20; a different "Dedan" occursGe 10:7).14. Tema—a kindred tribe: an oasis in that region (Jer 25:23). The Temeans give water to thefaint and thirsting Dedanites; the greatest act of hospitality in the burning lands of the East, wherewater is so scarce.prevented—that is, anticipated the wants of the fugitive Dedanites by supplying bread (Ge14:18).their bread—rather, "his (the fugitive's) bread"; the bread due to him, necessary for his support;so "thy grave" (Isa 14:19), [Maurer].15. they—the fugitive Dedanites and other Arabs.16. years of … hireling—(See on Isa 16:14).Kedar—a wandering tribe (Ps 120:5). North of Arabia-Petræa, and south of Arabia-Deserta;put for Arabia in general.17. residue … diminished—The remnant of Arab warriors, famous in the bow, left after theinvasion, shall be small.CHAPTER 22Isa 22:1-14. Prophecy as to an Attack on Jerusalem.That by Sennacherib, in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah; Isa 22:8-11, the preparations fordefense and securing of water exactly answer to those in 2Ch 32:4, 5, 30. "Shebna," too (Isa 22:15),was scribe at this time (Isa 36:3) [Maurer]. The language of Isa 22:12-14, as to the infidelity andconsequent utter ruin of the Jews, seems rather to foreshadow the destruction by Nebuchadnezzarin Zedekiah's reign, and cannot be restricted to Hezekiah's time [Lowth].1. of … valley of vision—rather, "respecting the valley of visions"; namely, Jerusalem, the seatof divine revelations and visions, "the nursery of prophets" [Jerome], (Isa 2:3; 29:1; Eze 23:4, Margin;Lu 13:33). It lay in a "valley" surrounded by hills higher than Zion and Moriah (Ps 125:2; Jer 21:13).thee—the people of Jerusalem personified.housetops—Panic-struck, they went up on the flat balustraded roofs to look forth and seewhether the enemy was near, and partly to defend themselves from the roofs (Jud 9:51, &c.).2. art—rather, "wert"; for it could not now be said to be "a joyous city" (Isa 32:13). The causeof their joy (Isa 22:13) may have been because Sennacherib had accepted Hezekiah's offer to renewthe payment of tribute, and they were glad to have peace on any terms, however humiliating (2Ki1113JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18:14-16), or on account of the alliance with Egypt. If the reference be to Zedekiah's time, the joyand feasting are not inapplicable, for this recklessness was a general characteristic of the unbelievingJews (Isa 56:12).not slain with the sword—but with the famine and pestilence about to be caused by the comingsiege (La 4:9). Maurer refers this to the plague by which he thinks Sennacherib's army was destroyed,and Hezekiah was made sick (Isa 37:36; 38:1). But there is no authority for supposing that the Jewsin the city suffered such extremities of plague at this time, when God destroyed their foes. Barnesrefers it to those slain in flight, not in open honorable "battle"; Isa 22:3 favors this.3. rulers—rather, "generals" (Jos 10:24; Jud 11:6, 11).bound—rather, "are taken."by the archers—literally, "by the bow"; so Isa 21:17. Bowmen were the light troops, whoseprovince it was to skirmish in front and (2Ki 6:22) pursue fugitives (2Ki 25:5); this verse appliesbetter to the attack of Nebuchadnezzar than that of Sennacherib.all … in thee—all found in the city (Isa 13:15), not merely the "rulers" or generals.fled from far—those who had fled from distant parts to Jerusalem as a place of safety; rather,fled afar.4. Look … from me—Deep grief seeks to be alone; while others feast joyously, Isaiah mournsin prospect of the disaster coming on Jerusalem (Mic 1:8, 9).daughter, &c.—(see on Isa 1:8; La 2:11).5. trouble … by the Lord—that is, sent by or from the Lord (see on Isa 19:15; Lu 21:22-24).valley of vision—(See on Isa 22:1). Some think a valley near Ophel is meant as about to bethe scene of devastation (compare see on Isa 32:13,14).breaking … walls—that is, "a day of breaking the walls" of the city.crying to the mountains—the mournful cry of the townsmen "reaches" to (Maurer translates,towards) the mountains, and is echoed back by them. Josephus describes in the very same languagethe scene at the assault of Jerusalem under Titus. To this the prophecy, probably, refers ultimately.If, as some think, the "cry" is that of those escaping to the mountains, compare Mt 13:14; 24:16,with this.6. Elam—the country stretching east from the Lower Tigris, answering to what was afterwardscalled Persia (see on Isa 21:2). Later, Elam was a province of Persia (Ezr 4:9). In Sennacherib'stime, Elam was subject to Assyria (2Ki 18:11), and so furnished a contingent to its invading armies.Famed for the bow (Isa 13:18; Jer 49:35), in which the Ethiopians alone excelled them.with chariots of men and horsemen—that is, they used the bow both in chariots and onhorseback. "Chariots of men," that is, chariots in which men are borne, war chariots (compare seeon Isa 21:7; Isa 21:9).Kir—another people subject to Assyria (2Ki 16:9); the region about the river Kur, between theCaspian and Black Seas.uncovered—took off for the battle the leather covering of the shield, intended to protect theembossed figures on it from dust or injury during the march. "The quiver" and "the shield" expresstwo classes—light and heavy armed troops.7. valleys—east, north, and south of Jerusalem: Hinnom on the south side was the richest array at the gate—Rab-shakeh stood at the upper pool close to the city (Isa 36:11-13).1114JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. he discovered the covering—rather, "the veil of Judah shall be taken off" [Horsley]:figuratively for, exposing to shame as a captive (Isa 47:3; Na 3:5). Sennacherib dismantled all "thedefensed cities of Judah" (Isa 36:1).thou didst look—rather, "thou shalt look."house of … forest—The house of armory built of cedar from the forest of Lebanon by Solomon,on a slope of Zion called Ophel (1Ki 7:2; 10:17; Ne 3:19). Isaiah says (Isa 22:8-13) his countrymenwill look to their own strength to defend themselves, while others of them will drown their sorrowsas to their country in feasting, but none will look to Jehovah.9. Ye have seen—rather, "Ye shall see."city of David—the upper city, on Zion, the south side of Jerusalem (2Sa 5:7, 9; 1Ki 8:1);surrounded by a wall of its own; but even in it there shall be "breaches." Hezekiah's preparationsfor defense accord with this (2Ch 32:5).ye gathered—rather, "ye shall gather."lower pool—(See on Isa 22:11). Ye shall bring together into the city by subterranean passagescut in the rock of Zion, the fountain from which the lower pool (only mentioned here) is supplied.See on Isa 7:3; 2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:3-5, represent Hezekiah as having stopped the fountains toprevent the Assyrians getting water. But this is consistent with the passage here. The superfluouswaters of the lower pool usually flowed into Hinnom valley, and so through that of Jehoshaphat tothe brook Kedron. Hezekiah built a wall round it, stopped the outflowing of its waters to debar thefoe from the use of them, and turned them into the city.10. numbered—rather, "ye shall number," namely, in order to see which of them may be pulleddown with the least loss to the city, and with most advantage for the repair of the walls and rearingof towers (2Ch 32:5).have ye broken down—rather, "ye shall break down."11. Ye made … a ditch—rather, "Ye shall make a reservoir" for receiving the water. Hezekiahsurrounded Siloah, from which the old (or king's, or upper) pool took its rise, with a wall joined tothe wall of Zion on both sides; between these two walls he made a new pool, into which he directedthe waters of the former, thus cutting off the foe from his supply of water also. The opening fromwhich the upper pool received its water was nearer Zion than the other from which the lower pooltook its rise, so that the water which flowed from the former could easily be shut in by a wall,whereas that which flowed from the latter could only be brought in by subterranean conduits(compare see on Isa 22:9; Isa 7:3; 2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:3-5, 30; Ecclesiasticus 48:17). Both weresouthwest of Jerusalem.have not looked … neither had respect—answering by contrast to "Thou didst look to thearmor, ye have seen ('had respect', or 'regard to') the breaches" (Isa 22:8, 9).maker thereof—God, by whose command and aid these defenses were made, and who gavethis fountain "long ago." G. V. Smith translates, "Him who doeth it," that is, has brought this dangeron you—"Him who hath prepared it from afar," that is, planned it even from a distant time.12. did the Lord God call—Usually the priests gave the summons to national mourning (Joe1:14); now Jehovah Himself shall give it; the "call" shall consist in the presence of a terrible foe.Translate, "shall call."baldness—emblem of grief (Job 1:20; Mic 1:16).13. Notwithstanding Jehovah's "call to mourning" (Isa 22:12), many shall make the desperatestate of affairs a reason for reckless revelry (Isa 5:11, 12, 14; Jer 18:12; 1Co 15:32).1115JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIsa 22:15-25. Prophecy That Shebna Should Be Deposed from Being Prefect of the Palace, and Eliakim Promotedto the Office.In Isa 36:3, 22; 37:2, we find Shebna "a scribe," and no longer prefect of the palace ("over thehousehold"), and Eliakim in that office, as is here foretold. Shebna is singled out as the subject ofprophecy (the only instance of an individual being so in Isaiah), as being one of the irreligiousfaction that set at naught the prophet's warnings (Isa 28:1-33:24); perhaps it was he who advisedthe temporary ignominious submission of Hezekiah to Sennacherib.15. Go, get thee unto—rather, "Go in to" (that is, into the house to).treasurer—"him who dwells in the tabernacle" [Jerome]; namely, in a room of the temple setapart for the treasurer. Rather, "the king's friend," or "principal officer of the court" (1Ki 4:5; 18:3;1Ch 27:33, "the king's counsellor") [Maurer]. "This" is prefixed contemptuously (Ex 32:1).unto Shebna—The Hebrew for "unto" indicates an accosting of Shebna with an unwelcomemessage.16. What … whom—The prophet accosts Shebna at the very place where he was building agrand sepulcher for himself and his family (compare Isa 14:18; Ge 23:1-20; 49:29; 50:13). "What(business) hast thou here, and whom hast thou (of thy family, who is likely to be buried) here, thatthou buildest," &c., seeing that thou art soon to be deposed from office and carried into captivity?[Maurer].on high—Sepulchres were made in the highest rocks (2Ch 32:33, Margin).habitation for himself—compare "his own house" (Isa 14:18).17. carry … away with … captivity—rather, "will cast thee away with a mighty throw" [Maurer]."Mighty," literally, "of a man" (so Job 38:3).surely cover—namely, with shame, where thou art rearing a monument to perpetuate thy fame[Vitringa]. "Rolling will roll thee," that is, will continually roll thee on, as a ball to be tossed away[Maurer]. Compare Isa 22:18.18. violently turn and toss—literally, "whirling He will whirl thee," that is, He will, withoutintermission, whirl thee [Maurer]. "He will whirl thee round and round, and (then) cast thee away,"as a stone in a sling is first whirled round repeatedly, before the string is let go [Lowth].large country—perhaps Assyria.chariots … shall be the shame of thy lord's house—rather, "thy splendid chariots shall bethere, O thou disgrace of thy lord's house" [Noyes]; "chariots of thy glory" mean "thy magnificentchariots." It is not meant that he would have these in a distant land, as he had in Jerusalem, but thathe would be borne thither in ignominy instead of in his magnificent chariots. The Jews say that hewas tied to the tails of horses by the enemy, to whom he had designed to betray Jerusalem, as theythought he was mocking them; and so he died.19. state—office.he—God. A similar change of persons occurs in Isa 34:16.20. son of Hilkiah—supposed by Kimchi to be the same as Azariah, son of Hilkiah, who perhapshad two names, and who was "over the household" in Hezekiah's time (1Ch 6:13).21. thy robe—of office.girdle—in which the purse was carried, and to it was attached the sword; often adorned withgold and jewels.father—that is, a counsellor and friend.22. key—emblem of his office over the house; to "open" or "shut"; access rested with him.1116JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonupon … shoulder—So keys are carried sometimes in the East, hanging from the kerchief onthe shoulder. But the phrase is rather figurative for sustaining the government on one's shoulders.Eliakim, as his name implies, is here plainly a type of the God-man Christ, the son of "David," ofwhom Isaiah (Isa 9:6) uses the same language as the former clause of this verse. In Re 3:7, the samelanguage as the latter clause is found (compare Job 12:14).23. nail … sure place—Large nails or pegs stood in ancient houses on which were suspendedthe ornaments of the family. The sense is: all that is valuable to the nation shall rest securely onhim. In Ezr 9:8 "nail" is used of the large spike driven into the ground to fasten the cords of thetent to.throne—resting-place to his family, as applied to Eliakim; but "throne," in the strict sense, asapplied to Messiah, the antitype (Lu 1:32, 33).24. Same image as in Isa 22:23. It was customary to "hang" the valuables of a house on nails(1Ki 10:16, 17, 21; So 4:4).offspring and the issue—rather, "the offshoots of the family, high and low" [Vitringa]. Eliakimwould reflect honor even on the latter.vessels of cups—of small capacity: answering to the low and humble offshoots.vessels of flagons—larger vessels: answering to the high offshoots.25. nail … fastened—Shebna, who was supposed to be firmly fixed in his post.burden … upon it—All that were dependent on Shebna, all his emoluments and rank will fail,as when a peg is suddenly "cut down," the ornaments on it fall with it. Sin reaches in its effectseven to the family of the guilty (Ex 20:5).CHAPTER 23Isa 23:1-18. Prophecy Respecting Tyre.Menander, the historian, notices a siege of Tyre by Shalmaneser, about the time of the siege ofSamaria. Sidon, Acco, and Old Tyre, on the mainland, were soon reduced; but New Tyre, on anisland half a mile from the shore, held out for five years. Sargon probably finished the siege.Sennacherib does not, however, mention it among the cities which the Assyrian kings conquered(thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh chapters). The expression, "Chaldeans" (Isa 23:13), may implyreference to its siege under Nebuchadnezzar, which lasted thirteen years. Alexander the Greatdestroyed New Tyre after a seven months' siege.1. Tyre—Hebrew, Tsur, that is, "Rock."ships of Tarshish—ships of Tyre returning from their voyage to Tarshish, or Tartessus inSpain, with which the Phoenicians had much commerce (Eze 27:12-25). "Ships of Tarshish" is aphrase also used of large and distant-voyaging merchant vessels (Isa 2:16; 1Ki 10:22; Ps 48:7).no house—namely, left; such was the case as to Old Tyre, after Nebuchadnezzar's entering—There is no house to enter (Isa 24:10) [G. V. Smith]. Or, Tyre is so laid waste, thatthere is no possibility of entering the harbor [Barnes]; which is appropriate to the previous "ships."Chittim—Cyprus, of which the cities, including Citium in the south (whence came "Chittim"),were mostly Phoenician (Eze 27:6). The ships from Tarshish on their way to Tyre learn the tidings("it is revealed to them") of the downfall of Tyre. At a later period Chittim denoted the islands andcoasts of the Mediterranean (Da 11:30).1117JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. Be still—"struck dumb with awe." Addressed to those already in the country, eye-witnessesof its ruin (La 2:10); or, in contrast to the busy din of commerce once heard in Tyre; now all ishushed and still.isle—strictly applicable to New Tyre: in the sense coast, to the mainland city, Old Tyre (compareIsa 23:6; Isa 20:6).Zidon—of which Tyre was a colony, planted when Zidon was conquered by the Philistines ofAscalon. Zidon means a "fishing station"; this was its beginning.replenished—with wealth and an industrious population (Eze 27:3, 8, 23). Here "Zidon," asthe oldest city of Phoenicia, includes all the Phoenician towns on the strip of "coast." Thus, Eth-baal,king of Tyre [Josephus, Antiquities, 8.3,2], is called king of the Sidonians (1Ki 16:31); and on coinsTyre is called the metropolis of the Sidonians.3. great waters—the wide waters of the sea.seed—"grain," or crop, as in 1Sa 8:15; Job 39:12.Sihor—literally, "dark-colored"; applied to the Nile, as the Egyptian Jeor, and the Greek Melas,to express the "dark, turbid" colors given to its waters by the fertilizing soil which it deposits at itsyearly overflow (Jer 2:18).harvest of the river—the growth of the Delta; the produce due to the overflow of the Nile:Egypt was the great granary of corn in the ancient world (Ge 41:1-57; 42:1-38; 43:1-34).her revenue—Tyrian vessels carried Egyptian produce obtained in exchange for wine, oil,glass, &c., into various lands, and so made large profits.mart—(Eze 27:3). No city was more favorably situated for commerce.4. Zidon—called on, as being the parent country of Tyre (Isa 23:12), and here equivalent toPhoenicia in general, to feel the shame (as it was esteemed in the East) of being now as childlessas if she never had any. "I (no more now) travail, nor bring forth," &c. "Strength of the sea," thatis, stronghold, namely, New Tyre, on a rock (as "Tyre" means) surrounded by the sea (Eze 26:4,14-17; so Venice was called "Bride of the sea"; Zec 9:3).5. As, &c.—rather, "When the report (shall reach) the people of Egypt, they shall be sorelypained at the report concerning Tyre" (namely, its overthrow). So Jerome, "When the Egyptians shallhear that so powerful a neighboring nation has been destroyed, they must know their own end isnear" [Lowth, &c.].6. Pass … over—Escape from Tyre to your colonies as Tarshish (compare Isa 23:12). TheTyrians fled to Carthage and elsewhere, both at the siege under Nebuchadnezzar and that underAlexander.7. Is this silent ruin all that is left of your once joyous city (Isa 23:12)?antiquity—The Tyrian priests boasted in Herodotus' time that their city had already existed 2300years: an exaggeration, but still implying that it was ancient even then.her own feet—walking on foot as captives to an enemy's land.8. Who—answered in Isa 23:9, "The Lord of hosts."crowning—crown-giving; that is, the city from which dependent kingdoms had arisen, asTartessus in Spain, Citium in Cyprus, and Carthage in Africa (Eze 27:33).traffickers—literally, "Canaanites," who were famed for commerce (compare Ho 12:7, Margin).9. Whoever be the instruments in overthrowing haughty sinners, God, who has all hosts at Hiscommand, is the First Cause (Isa 10:5-7).1118JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstain—rather, "to profane"; as in Ex 31:14, the Sabbath, and other objects of religious reverence;so here, "the pride of all glory" may refer to the Tyrian temple of Hercules, the oldest in the world,according to Arrian (Isa 2:16); the prophet of the true God would naturally single out for notice theidol of Tyre [G. V. Smith]. It may, however, be a general proposition; the destruction of Tyre willexhibit to all how God mars the luster of whatever is haughty (Isa 2:11).10. a river—Hebrew, "the river," namely, Nile.daughter of Tarshish—Tyre and its inhabitants (Isa 1:8), about henceforth, owing to the ruinof Tyre, to become inhabitants of its colony, Tartessus: they would pour forth from Tyre, as watersflow on when the barriers are removed [Lowth]. Rather, Tarshish, or Tartessus and its inhabitants,as the phrase usually means: they had been kept in hard bondage, working in silver and lead minesnear Tarshish, by the parent city (Eze 26:17): but now "the bond of restraint" (for so "strength,"Margin, "girdle," that is, bond, Ps 2:3, ought to be translated) is removed, since Tyre is no more.11. He—Jehovah.kingdoms—the Phoenician cities and colonies.the merchant city—rather, Canaan, meaning the north of it, namely, Phoenicia. On their coins,they call their country Canaan.12. he—God.rejoice—riotously (Isa 23:7).oppressed—"deflowered"; laying aside the figure "taken by storm"; the Arabs compare a citynever taken to an undefiled virgin (compare Na 3:5, &c.).daughter of Zidon—Tyre: or else, sons of Zidon, that is, the whole land and people of Phoenicia(see on Isa 23:2) [Maurer].Chittim—Citium in Cyprus (Isa 23:1).there also … no rest—Thy colonies, having been harshly treated by thee, will now repay theein kind (see on Isa 23:10). But Vitringa refers it to the calamities which befell the Tyrians in theirsettlements subsequently, namely, Sicily, Corcyra, Carthage, and Spain, all flowing from the originalcurse of Noah against the posterity of Canaan (Ge 9:25-27).13. Behold—Calling attention to the fact, so humiliating to Tyre, that a people of yesterday,like the Chaldees, should destroy the most ancient of cities, Tyre.was not—had no existence as a recognized nation; the Chaldees were previously but a rude,predatory people (Job 1:17).Assyrian founded it—The Chaldees ("them that dwell in the wilderness") lived a nomadic lifein the mountains of Armenia originally (Arphaxad, in Ge 10:22, refers to such a region of Assyrianear Armenia), north and east of Assyria proper. Some may have settled in Mesopotamia andBabylonia very early and given origin to the astrologers called Chaldees in later times. But mostof the people had been transferred only a little before the time of this prophecy from their originalseats in the north to Mesopotamia, and soon afterwards to South Babylonia. "Founded it," means"assigned it (the land) to them who had (heretofore) dwelt in the wilderness" as a permanentsettlement (so in Ps 104:8) [Maurer]. It was the Assyrian policy to infuse into their own populationof the plain the fresh blood of hardy mountaineers, for the sake of recruiting their armies. Ultimatelythe Chaldees, by their powerful priest-caste, gained the supremacy and established the later orChaldean empire. Horsley refers it to Tyre, founded by an Assyrian race.towers thereof—namely, of Babylon, whose towers, Herodotus says, were "set up" by theAssyrians [Barnes]. Rather, "The Chaldees set up their siege-towers" against Tyre, made for the1119JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonattack of high walls, from which the besiegers hurled missiles, as depicted in the Assyrian sculptures[G. V. Smith].raised up—rather, "They lay bare," namely, the foundations of "her (Tyre's) palaces," that is,utterly overthrew them (Ps 137:7).14. strength—stronghold (compare Eze 26:15-18).15. forgotten—Having lost its former renown, Tyre shall be in obscurity.seventy years—(so Jer 25:11, 12; 29:10).days of one king—that is, a dynasty. The Babylonian monarchy lasted properly but seventyyears. From the first year of Nebuchadnezzar to the taking of Babylon, by Cyrus, was seventy years;then the subjected nations would be restored to liberty. Tyre was taken in the middle of that period,but it is classed in common with the rest, some conquered sooner and others later, all, however,alike to be delivered at the end of the period. So "king" is used for dynasty (Da 7:17; 8:20):Nebuchadnezzar, his son Evil-merodach, and his grandson, Belshazzar, formed the whole dynasty(Jer 25:11, 12; 27:7; 29:10).shall Tyre sing as … harlot—It shall be to Tyre as the song of the harlot, namely, a harlot thathas been forgotten, but who attracts notice again by her song. Large marts of commerce are oftencompared to harlots seeking many lovers, that is, they court merchants of all nations, and admitany one for the sake of gain (Na 3:4; Re 18:3). Covetousness is closely akin to idolatry andlicentiousness, as the connection (Eph 5:5; Col 3:5) proves (compare Isa 2:6-8, 16).16. Same figure [Isa 23:15] to express that Tyre would again prosper and attract commercialintercourse of nations to her, and be the same joyous, self-indulging city as before.17. visit—not in wrath, but mercy.hire—image from a harlot: her gains by commerce. After the Babylonian dynasty was ended,Tyre was rebuilt; also, again, after the destruction under Alexander.18. merchandise … holiness—Her traffic and gains shall at last (long after the restorationmentioned in Isa 23:17) be consecrated to Jehovah. Jesus Christ visited the neighborhood of Tyre(Mt 15:21); Paul found disciples there (Ac 21:3-6); it early became a Christian bishopric, but thefull evangelization of that whole race, as of the Ethiopians (Isa 18:1-7), of the Egyptians andAssyrians (Isa 19:1-25), is yet to come (Isa 60:5).not treasured—but freely expended in His service.them that dwell before the Lord—the ministers of religion. But Horsley translates, "them thatsit before Jehovah" as disciples.durable clothing—Changes of raiment constituted much of the wealth of former days.CHAPTER 24Isa 24:1-23. The Last Times of the World in General, and of Judah and the Church in Particular.The four chapters (the twenty-fourth through the twenty-seventh) form one continuous poeticalprophecy: descriptive of the dispersion and successive calamities of the Jews (Isa 24:1-12); thepreaching of the Gospel by the first Hebrew converts throughout the world (Isa 24:13-16); thejudgments on the adversaries of the Church and its final triumph (Isa 24:16-23); thanksgiving forthe overthrow of the apostate faction (Isa 25:1-12), and establishment of the righteous in lastingpeace (Isa 26:1-21); judgment on leviathan and entire purgation of the Church (Isa 27:1-13). Having1120JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontreated of the several nations in particular—Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Edom,and Tyre (the miniature representative of all, as all kingdoms flocked into it)—he passes to the lasttimes of the world at large and of Judah the representative and future head of the churches.1. the earth—rather, "the land" of Judah (so in Isa 24:3, 5, 6; Joe 1:2). The desolation underNebuchadnezzar prefigured that under Titus.2. as with the people, so with the priest—All alike shall share the same calamity: no favoredclass shall escape (compare Eze 7:12, 13; Ho 4:9; Re 6:15).4. world—the kingdom of Israel; as in Isa 13:11, Babylon.haughty—literally, "the height" of the people: abstract for concrete, that is, the high people;even the nobles share the general distress.5. earth—rather, "the land."defiled under … inhabitants—namely, with innocent blood (Ge 4:11; Nu 35:33; Ps 106:38).laws … ordinance … everlasting covenant—The moral laws, positive statutes, and nationalcovenant designed to be for ever between God and them.6. earth—the land.burned—namely, with the consuming wrath of heaven: either internally, as in Job 30:30[Rosenmuller]; or externally, the prophet has before his eyes the people being consumed with thewithering dryness of their doomed land (so Joe 1:10, 12), [Maurer].7. mourneth—because there are none to drink it [Barnes]. Rather, "is become vapid" [Horsley].languisheth—because there are none to cultivate it now.8. (Re 18:22).9. with a song—the usual accompaniment of feasts.strong drink—(See on Isa 5:11). "Date wine" [Horsley].bitter—in consequence of the national calamities.10. city of confusion—rather, "desolation." What Jerusalem would be; by anticipation it iscalled so. Horsley translates, "The city is broken down; it is a ruin."shut up—through fear; or rather, "choked up by ruins."11. crying for wine—to drown their sorrows in drink (Isa 16:9); Joe 1:5, written about thesame time, resembles this.12. with destruction—rather "crash" [Gesenius]. "With a great tumult the gate is battered down"[Horsley].13. the land—Judea. Put the comma after "land," not after "people." "There shall be amongthe people (a remnant left), as the shaking (the after-picking) of an olive tree"; as in gathering olives,a few remain on the highest boughs (Isa 17:5, 6).14. They—those who are left: the remnant.sing for the majesty of the Lord—sing a thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord, who hasso mercifully preserved them.from the sea—from the distant lands beyond the sea, whither they have escaped.15. in the fires—Vitringa translates, "in the caves." Could it mean the fires of affliction (1Pe1:7)? They were exiles at the time. The fires only loose the carnal bonds off the soul, withoutinjuring a hair, as in the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Lowth reads, in the islands(Eze 26:18). Rather translate for "fires," "in the regions of morning light," that is, the east, inantithesis to the "isles of the sea," that is, the west [Maurer]. Wheresoever ye be scattered, east orwest, still glorify the Lord (Mal 1:11).1121JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson16. Songs to God come in together to Palestine from distant lands, as a grand chorus.glory to the righteous—the burden of the songs (Isa 26:2, 7). Amidst exile, the loss of theirtemple, and all that is dear to man, their confidence in God is unshaken. These songs recall the joyof other times and draw from Jerusalem in her present calamities, the cry, "My leanness." Horsleytranslates, "glory to the Just One"; then My leanness expresses his sense of man's corruption, whichled the Jews, "the treacherous dealers" (Jer 5:11), to crucify the Just One; and his deficiency ofrighteousness which made him need to be clothed with the righteousness of the Just One (Ps 106:15).treacherous dealers—the foreign nations that oppress Jerusalem, and overcome it by stratagem(so in Isa 21:2) [Barnes].17. This verse explains the wretchedness spoken of in Isa 24:16. Jeremiah (Jer 48:43, 44) usesthe same words. They are proverbial; Isa 24:18 expressing that the inhabitants were nowhere safe;if they escaped one danger, they fell into another, and worse, on the opposite side (Am 5:19). "Fear"is the term applied to the cords with feathers of all colors which, when fluttered in the air, scarebeasts into the pitfall, or birds into the snare. Horsley makes the connection. Indignant at the treatmentwhich the Just One received, the prophet threatens the guilty land with instant vengeance.18. noise of … fear—the shout designed to rouse the game and drive it into the … open—taken from the account of the deluge (Ge 7:11); the flood-gates. So thefinal judgments of fire on the apostate world are compared to the deluge (2Pe 3:5-7).19. earth—the land: image from an earthquake.20. removed like a cottage—(See on Isa 1:8). Here, a hanging couch, suspended from thetrees by cords, such as Niebuhr describes the Arab keepers of lands as having, to enable them to keepwatch, and at the same time to be secure from wild beasts. Translate, "Shall wave to and fro like ahammock" swung about by the wind.heavy upon it—like an overwhelming burden.not rise again—not meaning, that it never would rise (Isa 24:23), but in those convulsions itwould not rise, it would surely fall.21. host of … high ones—the heavenly host, that is, either the visible host of heaven (the presenteconomy of nature, affected by the sun, moon, and stars, the objects of idolatry, being abolished,Isa 65:17; 60:19, simultaneously with the corrupt polity of men); or rather, "the invisible rulers ofthe darkness of this world," as the antithesis to "kings of the earth" shows. Angels, moreover,preside, as it were, over kingdoms of the world (Da 10:13, 20, 21).22. in the pit—rather, "for the pit" [Horsley]. "In the dungeon" [Maurer]. Image from captivesthrust together into a dungeon.prison—that is, as in a prison. This sheds light on the disputed passage, 1Pe 3:19, where alsothe prison is figurative: The "shutting up" of the Jews in Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, andagain under Titus, was to be followed by a visitation of mercy "after many days"—seventy yearsin the case of the former—the time is not yet elapsed in the case of the latter. Horsley takes "visited"in a bad sense, namely, in wrath, as in Isa 26:14; compare Isa 29:6; the punishment being the heavierin the fact of the delay. Probably a double visitation is intended, deliverance to the elect, wrath tohardened unbelievers; as Isa 24:23 plainly contemplates judgments on proud sinners, symbolizedby the "sun" and "moon."23. (Jer 3:17). Still future: of which Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem amidst hosannas wasa pledge.1122JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhis ancients—the elders of His people; or in general, His ancient people, the Jews. After theoverthrow of the world kingdoms. Jehovah's shall be set up with a splendor exceeding the light ofthe sun and moon under the previous order of things (Isa 60:19, 20).CHAPTER 25Isa 25:1-12. Continuation of the Twenty-fourth Chapter. Thanksgiving for the Overthrow of the Apostate Faction,and the Setting Up of Jehovah's Throne on Zion.The restoration from Babylon and re-establishment of the theocracy was a type and pledge ofthis.1. wonderful—(Isa 9:6).counsels of old—(Isa 42:9; 46:10). Purposes planned long ago; here, as to the deliverance ofHis people.truth—Hebrew, Amen; covenant-keeping, faithful to promises; the peculiar characteristic ofJesus (Re 3:14).2. a city … heap—Babylon, type of the seat of Antichrist, to be destroyed in the last days(compare Jer 51:37, with Re 18:1-24, followed, as here, by the song of the saints' thanksgiving inRe 19:1-21). "Heaps" is a graphic picture of Babylon and Nineveh as they now are.palace—Babylon regarded, on account of its splendor, as a vast palace. But Maurer translates,"a citadel."of strangers—foreigners, whose capital pre-eminently Babylon was, the metropolis of thepagan world. "Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise"(Isa 29:5; Eph 2:12; see in contrast, Joe 3:17).never be built—(Isa 13:19, 20, &c.).3. strong people—This cannot apply to the Jews; but other nations on which Babylon hadexercised its cruelty (Isa 14:12) shall worship Jehovah, awed by the judgment inflicted on Babylon(Isa 23:18).city—not Babylon, which shall then be destroyed, but collectively for the cities of thesurrounding nations.4. the poor … needy—the Jews, exiles from their country (Isa 26:6; 41:17).heat—calamity (Isa 4:6; 32:2).blast—that is, wrath.storm—a tempest of rain, a winter flood, rushing against and overthrowing the wall of a house.5. Translate, "As the heat in a dry land (is brought down by the shadow of a cloud, so) thoushalt bring down the tumult (the shout of triumph over their enemies) of strangers (foreigners); andas the heat by the shadow of the cloud (is brought low), so the branch (the offspring) of the terribleones shall be brought low." Parkhurst translates the Hebrew for "branch," the exulting song. Jerometranslates the last clause, "And as when the heat burns under a cloud, thou shalt make the branchof the terrible ones to wither"; the branch withering even under the friendly shade of a cloud typifiesthe wicked brought to ruin, not for want of natural means of prosperity, but by the immediate actof God.6. in this mountain—Zion: Messiah's kingdom was to begin, and is to have its central seathereafter, at Jerusalem, as the common country of "all nations" (Isa 2:2, &c.).1123JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonall people—(Isa 56:7; Da 7:14; Lu 2:10).feast—image of felicity (Ps 22:26, 27; Mt 8:11; Lu 14:15; Re 19:9; compare Ps 36:8; 87:1-7).fat things—delicacies; the rich mercies of God in Christ (Isa 55:2; Jer 31:14; Job 36:16).wines on the lees—wine which has been long kept on the lees; that is, the oldest and mostgenerous wine (Jer 48:11).marrow—the choicest dainties (Ps 63:5).well refined—cleared of all dregs.7. face of … covering—image from mourning, in which it was usual to cover the face with aveil (2Sa 15:30). "Face of covering," that is, the covering itself; as in Job 41:13, "the face of hisgarment," the garment itself. The covering or veil is the mist of ignorance as to a future state, andthe way to eternal life, which enveloped the nations (Eph 4:18) and the unbelieving Jew (2Co 3:15).The Jew, however, is first to be converted before the conversion of "all nations"; for it is "in thismountain," namely, Zion, that the latter are to have the veil taken off (Ps 102:13, 15, 16, 21, 22;Ro 11:12).8. Quoted in 1Co 15:54, in support of the resurrection.swallow up … in victory—completely and permanently "abolish" (2Ti 1:10; Re 20:14; 21:4;compare Ge 2:17; 3:22).rebuke—(Compare Mr 8:38; Heb 11:26).9. And it shall be said in that day, &c.—"After death has been swallowed up for ever, thepeople of God, who had been delivered from the hand of death, shall say to the Lord, Lo, this isour God, whom unbelievers regarded as only a man" [Jerome]. "The words are so moulded as topoint us specially to the person of the Son of God, who 'saves' us; as He vouchsafed to Israeltemporal saving, so to His elect He appears for the purpose of conferring eternal salvation" [Vitringa].The Jews, however, have a special share in the words, This is our God (see on Isa 25:6).we have waited—"Waited" is characteristic of God's people in all ages (Ge 49:18; Tit 2:13).we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation—compare Ps 118:24, which refers to the secondcoming of Jesus (compare Ps 118:26, with Lu 13:35).10. rest—as its permanent protector; on "hand" in this sense; compare Ezr 7:6, 28.Moab—while Israel is being protected, the foe is destroyed; Moab is the representative of allthe foes of God's people.under him—Rather, "in his own place" or "country" (Ex 10:23; 16:29).for the dunghill—Rather, "in the water of the dung heap," in which straw was trodden to makeit manure (Ps 83:10). Horsley translates either, "in the waters of Madmenah," namely, for the makingof bricks; or as the Septuagint, "as the threshing-floor is trampled by the corn-drag" (see Margin;Mic 4:11-13).11. he—Jehovah shall spread His hands to strike the foe on this side and on that, with as littleeffort as a swimmer spreads forth his arms to cleave a passage through the water [Calvin]. (Zec 5:3).Lowth takes "he" as Moab, who, in danger of sinking, shall strain every nerve to save himself; butJehovah (and "he") shall cause him to sink ("bring down the pride" of Moab, Isa 16:6).with the spoils of … hands—literally, "the craftily acquired spoils" of his (Moab's) hands[Barnes]. Moab's pride, as well as the sudden gripe of his hands (namely, whereby he tries to savehimself from drowning) [Lowth]. "Together with the joints of his hands," that is, though Moabstruggle against Jehovah hand and foot [Maurer].1124JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. fortress—the strongholds of Moab, the representative of the foes of God's people [Barnes].Babylon [Maurer]. The society of infidels represented as a city (Re 11:8).CHAPTER 26Isa 26:1-21. Connected with the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Chapters. Song of Praise of Israel after BeingRestored to Their Own Land.As the overthrow of the apostate faction is described in the twenty-fifth chapter, so the peaceof the faithful is here described under the image of a well-fortified city.1. strong city—Jerusalem, strong in Jehovah's protection: type of the new Jerusalem (Ps 48:1-3),contrasted with the overthrow of the ungodly foe (Isa 26:4-7, 12-14; Re 22:2, 10-12, &c.).salvation … walls—(Isa 60:18; Jer 3:23; Zec 2:5). Maurer translates, "Jehovah makes His helpserve as walls" (Isa 33:20, 21, &c.).bulwarks—the trench with the antemural earthworks exterior to the wall.2. Address of the returning people to the gates of Jerusalem (type of the heavenly city, Heb12:22); (Ps 24:7, 9; 118:19). Antitypically (Re 22:14; 21:25, 27).righteous nation—that had not apostatized during the captivity. Horsley translates, "The nationof the Just One," namely, the Jews.3. mind … stayed—(Ps 112:7, 8). Jesus can create "perfect peace" within thy mind, thoughstorms of trial rage without (Isa 57:19; Mr 4:39); as a city kept securely by a strong garrison within,though besieged without (so Php 4:7). "Keep," literally, "guard as with a garrison." Horsley translates,(God's) workmanship (the Hebrew does not probably mean "mind," but "a thing formed," Eph2:10), so constantly "supported"; or else "formed and supported (by Thee) Thou shalt preserve (it,namely, the righteous nation) in perpetual peace."4. Lord Jehovah—Hebrew, Jah, Jehovah. The union of the two names expresses in the highestdegree God's unchanging love and power (compare Ps 68:4). This passage, and Isa 12:2; Ex 6:3;Ps 83:18, are the four in which the English Version retains the Jehovah of the original. Maurer translates,"For Jah (the eternal unchangeable One, Ex 3:14) is Jehovah, the rock of ages" (compare Isa 45:17;De 32:15; 1Sa 2:2).5. lofty city—Babylon; representative of the stronghold of the foes of God's people in all ages(Isa 25:2, 12; 13:14).6. poor—(Isa 25:4), the once afflicted Jewish captives. "Foot shall tread," is figurative forexulting in the fall of God's enemies (Re 18:20).7. uprightness—rather, "is direct," that is, is directed by God to a prosperous issue, howevermany be their afflictions in the meantime (as in the case of the Jewish exiles); the context requiresthis sense (Ps 34:19; Pr 3:6; 11:5), [Maurer]: thus "way" means God's dealings with the righteous(Ps 37:23).most upright—(De 32:4).dost weigh—(1Sa 2:3; Pr 5:21). Rather, "thou dost make plain and level" [Maurer], removingall obstacles (Isa 40:3, 4).8. way of thy judgments—We have waited for Thy proceeding to punish the enemy (Isa 26:9,10) [Maurer]. Horsley translates Isa 26:7, 8, "The path of the Just One is perfectly even; an even roadThou wilt level for the Just One, even the path of Thy laws, O Jehovah. We have expected Thee."1125JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonname … remembrance—the manifested character of God by which He would be remembered(Isa 64:5; Ex 3:15).9. With, … soul … I—literally, "I … my soul," in apposition; the faithful Jews here speakindividually. The overthrow of the foe and the restoration of the Jews are to follow upon prayer onthe part of the latter and of all God's people (Isa 62:1-4, 6, 7; Ps 102:13-17).in the night—(Ps 63:6; So 3:1).world … learn … righteousness—the remnant left after judgments (Ps 58:10, 11; Zec 14:16).10. uprightness—rather, as in Isa 26:7, "prosperity," answering to "favor" in the parallelism,and in antithesis to "judgments in the earth" (Isa 26:9); where prosperity attends the wicked as wellas the just, "he will not learn righteousness," therefore judgments must be sent that he may "learn"it [Maurer].11. lifted up—to punish the foes of God's people. They who will not see shall be made to "see"to their cost (Isa 5:12).their envy at the people—that is, "Thy people." Lowth translates, "They shall see with confusionThy zeal for Thy people."fire of … enemies—that is, the fire to which Thine enemies are doomed (Isa 9:18).12. peace—God's favor, including all blessings, temporal and spiritual, opposed to their previoustrials (Ps 138:8).13. other lords—temporal; heathen kings (2Ch 12:8; 28:5, 6), Nebuchadnezzar, &c. Spiritualalso, idols and lusts (Ro 6:16-18).by thee only—It is due to Thee alone, that we again worship Thee as our Lord [Maurer]. "(Weare) Thine only, we will celebrate Thy name" [Horsley]. The sanctifying effect of affliction (Ps 71:16;119:67, 71).14. They—The "other lords" or tyrants (Isa 26:13).shall not live—namely, again.deceased—Hebrew, "Rephaim"; powerless, in the land of shades (Isa 14:9, 10).therefore—that is, inasmuch as. Compare "therefore" (Ge 18:5; 19:8).15. hast—prophetical preterite (Isa 9:3).hast removed … far … ends of … earth—rather, "Thou hast extended far all the borders ofthe land" [Vitringa].16. visited—sought.poured out—(Ps 62:8), as a vessel emptying out all its contents.prayer—literally, "a whispered prayer," Margin, "a secret sighing" to God for help (compareJer 13:17; De 8:16).17. An image of anguish accompanied with expectation, to be followed by joy that will causethe anguish utterly to be forgotten. Zion, looking for deliverance, seemingly in vain, but reallyabout to be gloriously saved (Mic 4:9, 10-13; 5:1-3; Joh 16:21, 22).18. brought forth wind—Michaelis explains this of the disease empneumatosis. Rather, "wind"is a figure for that which proves an abortive effort. The "we" is in antithesis to "Thy," "my" (Isa26:19), what we vainly attempt, God will accomplish.not wrought … deliverance in … earth—literally, "the land (Judea) is not made security,"that is, is not become a place of security from our enemies.neither … world fallen—The "world" at large, is in antithesis to "the earth," that is, Judea.The world at enmity with the city of God has not been subdued. But Maurer explains "fallen,"1126JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonaccording to Arabic idiom, of the birth of a child, which is said to fall when being born; "inhabitantsof the world (Israel, Isa 24:4; not the world in general) are not yet born"; that is, the country as yetlies desolate, and is not yet populated.19. In antithesis to Isa 26:14, "They (Israel's foes) shall not live"; "Thy (Jehovah's) dead men(the Jews) shall live," that is, primarily, be restored, spiritually (Isa 54:1-3), civilly and nationally(Isa 26:15); whereas Thy foes shall not; ultimately, and in the fullest scope of the prophecy, restoredto life literally (Eze 37:1-14; Da 12:2).together with my dead body—rather, "my dead body," or "bodies" (the Jewish nationpersonified, which had been spiritually and civilly dead; or the nation, as a parent, speaking of thebodies of her children individually, see on Isa 26:9, "I," "My"): Jehovah's "dead" and "my dead"are one and the same [Horsley]. However, as Jesus is the antitype to Israel (Mt 2:15), English Versiongives a true sense, and one ultimately contemplated in the prophecy: Christ's dead body beingraised again is the source of Jehovah's people (all, and especially believers, the spiritual Israelites)also being raised (1Co 15:20-22).Awake—(Eph 5:14), dust—prostate and dead, spiritually and nationally; also literally (Isa 25:12; 47:1).dew—which falls copiously in the East and supplies somewhat the lack of rain (Ho 14:5).cast out … dead—that is, shall bring them forth to life again.20. enter … chambers—When God is about to take vengeance on the ungodly, the saints shallbe shut in by Him in a place of safety, as Noah and his family were in the days of the flood (Ge7:16), and as Israel was commanded not to go out of doors on the night of the slaying of the Egyptianfirst-born (Ex 12:22, 23; Ps 31:20; 83:3). The saints are calmly and confidently to await the issue(Ex 14:13, 14).21. (Mic 1:3; Jude 14).disclose … blood—(Ge 4:10, 11; Job 16:18; Eze 24:7, 8). All the innocent blood shed, and allother wrongs done, so long seemingly with impunity, shall then be avenged (Re 16:6).CHAPTER 27Isa 27:1-13. Continuation of the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, and Twenty-sixth Chapters.At the time when Israel shall be delivered, and the ungodly nations punished, God shall punishalso the great enemy of the Church.1. sore—rather, "hard," "well-tempered."leviathan—literally, in Arabic, "the twisted animal," applicable to every great tenant of thewaters, sea-serpents, crocodiles, &c. In Eze 29:3; 32:2; Da 7:1, &c. Re 12:3, &c., potentates hostileto Israel are similarly described; antitypically and ultimately Satan is intended (Re 20:10).piercing—rigid [Lowth]. Flying [Maurer and Septuagint]. Long, extended, namely, as the crocodilewhich cannot readily bend back its body [Houbigant].crooked—winding.dragon—Hebrew, tenin; the crocodile.sea—the Euphrates, or the expansion of it near Babylon.1127JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. In that day when leviathan shall be destroyed, the vineyard (Ps 80:8), the Church of God,purged of its blemishes, shall be lovely in God's eyes; to bring out this sense the better, Lowth, bychanging a Hebrew letter, reads "pleasant," "lovely," for "red wine."sing—a responsive song [Lowth].unto her—rather, "concerning her" (see on Isa 5:1); namely, the Jewish state [Maurer].3. lest any hurt it—attack it [Maurer]. "Lest aught be wanting in her" [Horsley].4. Fury is not in me—that is, I entertain no longer anger towards my vine.who would set … in battle—that is, would that I had the briers, &c. (the wicked foe; Isa 9:18;10:17; 2Sa 23:6), before me! "I would go through," or rather, "against them."5. Or—Else; the only alternative, if Israel's enemies wish to escape being "burnt together."strength—rather, "the refuge which I afford" [Maurer]. "Take hold," refers to the horns of thealtar which fugitives often laid hold of as an asylum (1Ki 1:50; 2:28). Jesus is God's "strength," or"refuge" which sinners must repair to and take hold of, if they are to have "peace" with God (Isa45:24; Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14; compare Job 22:21).6. He—Jehovah. Here the song of the Lord as to His vineyard (Isa 27:2-5) ends; and the prophetconfirms the sentiment in the song, under the same image of a vine (compare Ps 92:13-15; Ho 14:5,6).Israel … fill … world—(Ro 11:12).7. him … those—Israel—Israel's enemies. Has God punished His people as severely as He hasthose enemies whom He employed to chastise Israel? No! Far from it. Israel, after trials, He willrestore; Israel's enemies He will utterly destroy at last.the slaughter of them that are slain by him—rather, "Is Israel slain according to the slaughterof the enemy slain?" the slaughter wherewith the enemy is slain [Maurer].8. In measure—not beyond measure; in moderation (Job 23:6; Ps 6:1; Jer 10:24; 30:11; 46:28).when it shooteth—image from the vine; rather, passing from the image to the thing itself,"when sending her away (namely, Israel to exile; Isa 50:1, God only putting the adulteress awaywhen He might justly have put her to death), Thou didst punish her" [Gesenius].stayeth—rather, as Margin, "when He removeth it by His rough wind in the day," &c.east wind—especially violent in the East (Job 27:21; Jer 18:17).9. By this—exile of Israel (the "sending away," Isa 27:8).purged—expiated [Horsley].all the fruit—This is the whole benefit designed to be brought about by the chastisement;namely, the removal of his (Israel's) sin (namely, object of idolatry; De 9:21; Ho 10:8).when he—Jehovah; at the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, His instrument. TheJews ever since have abhorred idolatry (compare Isa 17:8).not stand up—shall rise no more [Horsley].10. city—Jerusalem; the beating asunder of whose altars and images was mentioned in Isa 27:9(compare Isa 24:10-12).calf feed—(Isa 17:2); it shall be a vast wild pasture.branches—resuming the image of the vine (Isa 27:2,6).11. boughs … broken off—so the Jews are called (Ro 11:17, 19, 20).set … on fire—burn them as fuel; "women" are specified, as probably it was their office tocollect fuel and kindle the fire for understanding—as to the ways of God (De 32:28, 29; Jer 5:21; Ho 4:6).1128JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. Restoration of the Jews from their dispersion, described under the image of fruits shakenfrom trees and collected.beat off—as fruit beaten off a tree with a stick (De 24:20), and then gathered.river— of Egypt—on the confines of Palestine and Egypt (Nu 34:5; Jos 15:4, 47), nowWady-el-Arish, Jehovah's vineyard, Israel, extended according to His purpose from the Nile to theEuphrates (1Ki 4:21, 24; Ps 72:8).one by one—gathered most carefully, not merely as a nation, but as individuals.13. great trumpet—image from the trumpets blown on the first day of the seventh month tosummon the people to a holy convocation (Le 23:24). Antitypically, the gospel trumpet (Re 11:15;14:6) which the Jews shall hearken to in the last days (Zec 12:10; 13:1). As the passover in the firstmonth answers to Christ's crucifixion, so the day of atonement and the idea of "salvation" connectedwith the feast of tabernacles in the same seventh month, answer to the crowning of "redemption"at His second coming; therefore redemption is put last in 1Co 1:30.Assyria—whither the ten tribes had been carried; Babylonia is mainly meant, to which Assyriaat that time belonged; the two tribes were restored, and some of the ten accompanied them. However,"Assyria" is designedly used to point ultimately to the future restoration of the ten fully, never yetaccomplished (Jer 3:18).Egypt—whither many had fled at the Babylonish captivity (Jer 41:17, 18). Compare as to thefuture restoration, Isa 11:11, 12, 16; 51:9-16 ("Rahab" being Egypt).CHAPTER 28Isa 28:1-29.The twenty-eighth through thirty-third chapters form almost one continuous prophecy concerningthe destruction of Ephraim, the impiety and folly of Judah, the danger of their league with Egypt,the straits they would be reduced to by Assyria, from which Jehovah would deliver them on theirturning to Him; the twenty-eighth chapter refers to the time just before the sixth year of Hezekiak'sreign, the rest not very long before his fourteenth year.1. crown of pride—Hebrew for "proud crown of the drunkards," &c. [Horsley], namely, Samaria,the capital of Ephraim, or Israel. "Drunkards," literally (Isa 28:7, 8; Isa 5:11, 22; Am 4:1; 6:1-6)and metaphorically, like drunkards, rushing on to their own … flower—"whose glorious beauty or ornament is a fading flower." Carrying on theimage of "drunkards"; it was the custom at feasts to wreathe the brow with flowers; so Samaria,"which is (not as English Version, 'which are') upon the head of the fertile valley," that is, situatedon a hill surrounded with the rich valleys as a garland (1Ki 16:24); but the garland is "fading," asgarlands often do, because Ephraim is now close to ruin (compare Isa 16:8); fulfilled 721 B.C. (2Ki17:6, 24).2. strong one—the Assyrian (Isa 10:5).cast down—namely, Ephraim (Isa 28:1) and Samaria, its crown.with … hand—with violence (Isa 8:11).3. crown … the drunkards—rather, "the crown of the drunkards."1129JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. Rather, "the fading flower, their glorious beauty (Isa 28:1), which is on the head of the fat(fertile) valley, shall be as the early fig" [G. V. Smith]. Figs usually ripened in August; but earlierones (Hebrew bikkurah, Spanish bokkore) in June, and were regarded as a delicacy (Jer 24:2; Ho9:10; Mic 7:1).while it is yet—that is, immediately, without delay; describing the eagerness of the AssyrianShalmaneser, not merely to conquer, but to destroy utterly Samaria; whereas other conquered citieswere often spared.5-13. The prophet now turns to Judah; a gracious promise to the remnant ("residue"); a warninglest through like sins Judah should share the fate of—in antithesis to the "fading crown" of Ephraim (Isa 28:1, 3).the residue—primarily, Judah, in the prosperous reign of Hezekiah (2Ki 18:7), antitypically,the elect of God; as He here is called their "crown and diadem," so are they called His (Isa 62:3);a beautiful reciprocity.6. Jehovah will inspire their magistrates with justice, and their soldiers with strength of spirit.turn … battle to … gate—the defenders of their country who not only repel the foe fromthemselves, but drive him to the gates of his own cities (2Sa 11:23; 2Ki 18:8).7. Though Judah is to survive the fall of Ephraim, yet "they also" (the men of Judah) haveperpetrated like sins to those of Samaria (Isa 5:3, 11), which must be chastised by God.erred … are out of the way—"stagger … reel." Repeated, to express the frequency of the vice.priest … prophet—If the ministers of religion sin so grievously, how much more the otherrulers (Isa 56:10, 12)!vision—even in that most sacred function of the prophet to declare God's will revealed to them.judgment—The priests had the administration of the law committed to them (De 17:9; 19:17).It was against the law for the priests to take wine before entering the tabernacle (Le 10:9; Eze44:21).9, 10. Here the drunkards are introduced as scoffingly commenting on Isaiah's warnings: "Whomwill he (does Isaiah presume to) teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understandinstruction? Is it those (that is, does he take us to be) just weaned, &c.? For (he is constantlyrepeating, as if to little children) precept upon precept," &c.line—a rule or law. [Maurer]. The repetition of sounds in Hebrew tzav latzav, tzav latzav, qavlaqav, qav laquav, expresses the scorn of the imitators of Isaiah's speaking; he spoke stammering(Isa 28:11). God's mode of teaching offends by its simplicity the pride of sinners (2Ki 5:11, 12;1Co 1:23). Stammerers as they were by drunkenness, and children in knowledge of God, theyneeded to be spoken to in the language of children, and "with stammering lips" (compare Mt 13:13).A just and merciful retribution.11. For—rather, "Truly." This is Isaiah's reply to the scoffers: Your drunken questions shallbe answered by the severe lessons from God conveyed through the Assyrians and Babylonians; thedialect of these, though Semitic, like the Hebrew, was so far different as to sound to the Jews likethe speech of stammerers (compare Isa 33:19; 36:11). To them who will not understand God willspeak still more unintelligibly.12. Rather, "He (Jehovah) who hath said to them."this … the rest—Reference may be primarily to "rest" from national warlike preparations, theJews being at the time "weary" through various preceding calamities, as the Syro-Israelite invasion(Isa 7:8; compare Isa 30:15; 22:8; 39:2; 36:1; 2Ki 18:8). But spiritually, the "rest" meant is that to1130JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbe found in obeying those very "precepts" of God (Isa 28:10) which they jeered at (compare Jer6:16; Mt 11:29).13. But—rather, "Therefore," namely, because "they would not hear" (Isa 28:12).that they might go—the designed result to those who, from a defect of the will, so far fromprofiting by God's mode of instructing, "precept upon precept," &c., made it into a stumbling-block(Ho 6:5; 8:12; Mt 13:14).go, and fall—image appropriately from "drunkards" (Isa 28:7, 8, which they were) who intrying to "go forward fall backward."14. scornful—(See on Isa 28:9).15. said—virtually, in your conduct, if not in words.covenant—There may be a tacit reference to their confidence in their "covenant" with theAssyrians in the early part of Hezekiah's prosperous reign, before he ceased to pay tribute to them,as if it ensured Judah from evil, whatever might befall the neighboring Ephraim (Isa 28:1). The fullmeaning is shown by the language ("covenant with death—hell," or sheol) to apply to all lulled infalse security spiritually (Ps 12:4; Ec 8:8; Jer 8:11); the godly alone are in covenant with death (Job5:23; Ho 2:18; 1Co 3:22).overflowing scourge—two metaphors: the hostile Assyrian armies like an overwhelming flood.pass through—namely, through Judea on their way to Egypt, to punish it as the protector ofSamaria (2Ki 17:4).lies—They did not use these words, but Isaiah designates their sentiments by their true name(Am 2:4).16. Literally, "Behold Me as Him who has laid"; namely, in My divine counsel (Re 13:8); nonesave I could lay it (Isa 63:5).stone—Jesus Christ; Hezekiah [Maurer], or the temple [Ewald], do not realize the full significancyof the language; but only in type point to Him, in whom the prophecy receives its exhaustiveaccomplishment; whether Isaiah understood its fulness or not (1Pe 1:11, 12), the Holy Ghost plainlycontemplated its fulfilment in Christ alone; so in Isa 32:1; compare Ge 49:24; Ps 118:22; Mt 21:42;Ro 10:11; Eph 2:20.tried—both by the devil (Lu 4:1-13) and by men (Lu 20:1-38), and even by God (Mt 27:46);a stone of tested solidity to bear the vast superstructure of man's redemption. The tested righteousnessof Christ gives its peculiar merit to His vicarious sacrifice. The connection with the context is,though a "scourge" shall visit Judea (Isa 28:15), yet God's gracious purpose as to the elect remnant,and His kingdom of which "Zion" shall be the center, shall not fail, because its rests on Messiah(Mt 7:24, 25; 2Ti 2:19).precious—literally, "of preciousness," so in the Greek, (1Pe 2:7). He is preciousness.corner-stone—(1Ki 5:17; 7:9; Job 38:6); the stone laid at the corner where two walls meet andconnecting them; often costly.make haste—flee in hasty alarm; but the Septuagint has "be ashamed"; so Ro 9:33, and 1Pe2:6, "be confounded," substantially the same idea; he who rests on Him shall not have the shameof disappointment, nor flee in sudden panic (see Isa 30:15; 32:17).17. line—the measuring-line of the plummet. Horsley translates, "I will appoint judgment forthe rule, and justice for the plummet." As the corner-stone stands most perpendicular and exactlyproportioned, so Jehovah, while holding out grace to believers in the Foundation-stone, will judgethe scoffers (Isa 28:15) according to the exact justice of the law (compare Jas 2:13).1131JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhail—divine judgment (Isa 30:30; 32:19).18. disannulled—obliterated, as letters traced on a waxen tablet are obliterated by passing thestylus over it.trodden down—passing from the metaphor in "scourge" to the thing meant, the army whichtreads down its enemies.19. From the time, &c.—rather, "As often as it comes over (that is, passes through), it shallovertake you" [Horsley]; like a flood returning from time to time, frequent hostile invasions shallassail Judah, after the deportation of the ten tribes.vexation … understand … report—rather, "It shall be a terror even to hear the mere reportof it" [Maurer], (1Sa 3:11). But G. V. Smith, "Hard treatment (Horsley, 'dispersion') only shall makeyou to understand instruction"; they scorned at the simple way in which the prophet offered it (Isa28:9); therefore, they must be taught by the severe teachings of adversity.20. Proverbial, for they shall find all their sources of confidence fail them; all shall be hopelessperplexity in their affairs.21. Perazim—In the valley of Rephaim (2Sa 5:18, 20; 1Ch 14:11), there Jehovah, by David,broke forth as waters do, and made a breach among the Philistines, David's enemies, as Perazimmeans, expressing a sudden and complete overthrow.Gibeon—(1Ch 14:16; 2Sa 5:25, Margin); not Joshua's victory (Jos 10:10).strange—as being against His own people; judgment is not what God delights in; it is, thoughnecessary, yet strange to Him (La 3:33).work—punishing the guilty (Isa 10:12).22. mockers—a sin which they had committed (Isa 28:9, 10).bands—their Assyrian bondage (Isa 10:27); Judah was then tributary to Assyria; or, "lest yourpunishment be made still more severe" (Isa 24:22).consumption—destruction (Isa 10:22, 23; Da 9:27).23. Calling attention to the following illustration from husbandry (Ps 49:1, 2). As the husbandmandoes his different kinds of work, each in its right time and due proportion, so God adapts Hismeasures to the varying exigencies of the several cases: now mercy, now judgments; now punishingsooner, now later (an answer to the scoff that His judgments, being put off so long, would nevercome at all, Isa 5:19); His object being not to destroy His people any more than the farmer's objectin threshing is to destroy his crop; this vindicates God's "strange work" (Isa 28:21) in punishingHis people. Compare the same image, Jer 24:6; Ho 2:23; Mt 3:12.24. all day—emphatic; he is not always ploughing: he also "sows," and that, too, in accordancewith sure rules (Isa 28:25).doth he open—supply "always." Is he always harrowing?25. face—the "surface" of the ground: "made plain," or level, by harrowing.fitches—rather, "dill," or "fennel"; Nigella romana, with black seed, easily beaten out, used asa condiment and medicine in the East. So the Septuagint, "cummin" was used in the same way.cast in … principal wheat—rather, plant the wheat in rows (for wheat was thought to yieldthe largest crop, by being planted sparingly [Pliny, Natural History, 18.21]); [Maurer]; "sow the wheatregularly" [Horsley]. But Gesenius, like English Version, "fat," or "principal," that is, excellent wheat.appointed barley—rather, "barley in its appointed place" [Maurer].in their place—rather, "in its (the field's) border" [Maurer].26. to discretion—in the due rules of husbandry; God first taught it to man (Ge 3:23).1132JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson27. The husbandman uses the same discretion in threshing. The dill ("fitches") and cummin,leguminous and tender grains, are beaten out, not as wheat, &c., with the heavy corn-drag ("threshinginstrument"), but with "a staff"; heavy instruments would crush and injure the seed.cart wheel—two iron wheels armed with iron teeth, like a saw, joined together by a woodenaxle. The "corn-drag" was made of three or four wooden cylinders, armed with iron teeth or flintstones fixed underneath, and joined like a sledge. Both instruments cut the straw for fodder as wellas separated the corn.staff—used also where they had but a small quantity of corn; the flail (Ru 2:17).28. Bread corn—corn of which bread is made.bruised—threshed with the corn-drag (as contrasted with dill and cummin, "beaten with thestaff"), or, "trodden out" by the hoofs of cattle driven over it on the threshing-floor [G. V. Smith],(De 25:4; Mic 4:13).because—rather, "but" [Horsley]; though the corn is threshed with the heavy instrument, yet hewill not always be thus threshing it.break it—"drive over it (continually) the wheel" [Maurer].cart—threshing-drag.horsemen—rather, "horses"; used to tread out corn.29. This also—The skill wherewith the husbandman duly adjusts his modes of threshing isgiven by God, as well as the skill (Isa 28:26) wherewith he tills and sows (Isa 28:24, 25). ThereforeHe must also be able to adapt His modes of treatment to the several moral needs of His creatures.His object in sending tribulation (derived from the Latin tribulum, a "threshing instrument," Lu22:31; Ro 5:3) is to sever the moral chaff from the wheat, not to crush utterly; "His judgments areusually in the line of our offenses; by the nature of the judgments we may usually ascertain thenature of the sin" [Barnes].CHAPTER 29Isa 29:1-24. Coming Invasion of Jerusalem: Its Failure: Unbelief of the Jews.This chapter opens the series of prophecies as to the invasion of Judea under Sennacherib, andits deliverance.1. Ariel—Jerusalem; Ariel means "Lion of God," that is, city rendered by God invincible: thelion is emblem of a mighty hero (2Sa 23:20). Otherwise "Hearth of God," that is, place where thealtar-fire continually burns to God (Isa 31:9; Eze 43:15, 16).add … year to year—ironically; suffer one year after another to glide on in the round of formal,heartless "sacrifices." Rather, "add yet another year" to the one just closed [Maurer]. Let a year elapseand a little more (Isa 32:10, Margin).let … kill sacrifices—rather, "let the beasts (of another year) go round" [Maurer]; that is, afterthe completion of a year "I will distress Ariel."2. Yet—rather, "Then."heaviness … sorrow—rather, preserving the Hebrew paronomasia, "groaning" and "moaning."as Ariel—either, "the city shall be as a lion of God," that is, it shall emerge from its dangersunvanquished; or "it shall be as the altar of burnt offering," consuming with fire the besiegers (Isa29:6; Isa 30:30; 31:9; Le 10:2); or best, as Isa 29:3 continues the threat, and the promise of1133JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondeliverance does not come till Isa 29:4, "it shall be like a hearth of burning," that is, a scene ofdevastation by fire [G. V. Smith]. The prophecy, probably, contemplates ultimately, besides theaffliction and deliverance in Sennacherib's time, the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, the dispersionof the Jews, their restoration, the destruction of the enemies that besiege the city (Zec 14:2), andthe final glory of Israel (Isa 29:17-24).3. I—Jehovah, acting through the Assyrian, &c., His instruments (Isa 10:5).mount—an artificial mound formed to out-top high walls (Isa 37:33); else a station, namely,of warriors, for the siege.round about—not fully realized under Sennacherib, but in the Roman siege (Lu 19:43; 21:20).forts—siege-towers (De 20:20).4. Jerusalem shall be as a captive, humbled to the dust. Her voice shall come from the earth asthat of the spirit-charmers or necromancers (Isa 8:19), faint and shrill, as the voice of the dead wassupposed to be. Ventriloquism was doubtless the trick caused to make the voice appear to comefrom the earth (Isa 19:3). An appropriate retribution that Jerusalem, which consulted necromancers,should be made like them!5. Moreover—rather, "Yet"; yet in this extremity help shall come, and the enemy be scattered.strangers—foreign enemies, invaders (Isa 25:2).it shall be—namely, the destruction of the an instant—in a moment (Isa 30:23).6. Thou—the Assyrian army.thunder, &c.—not literally, in the case of the Assyrians (Isa 37:36); but figuratively for anawful judgment (Isa 30:30; 28:17). The ulterior fulfilment, in the case of the Jews' foes in the lastdays, may be more literal (see as to "earthquake," Zec 14:4).7. munition—fortress.8. Their disappointment in the very height of their confident expectation of taking Jerusalemshall be as great as that of the hungry man who in a dream fancies he eats, but awakes to hungerstill (Ps 73:20); their dream shall be dissipated on the fatal morning (Isa 37:36).soul—simply his appetite: he is still thirsty.9. Stay—rather, "Be astounded"; expressing the stupid and amazed incredulity with which theJews received Isaiah's announcement.wonder—The second imperative, as often (Isa 8:9), is a threat; the first is a simple declarationof a fact, "Be astounded, since you choose to be so, at the prophecy, soon you will be amazed atthe sight of the actual event" [Maurer].cry … out … cry—rather, "Be ye blinded (since you choose to be so, though the light shinesall round you), and soon ye shall be blinded" in good earnest to your sorrow [Maurer], (Isa 6:9, 10).not with wine—but with spiritual paralysis (Isa 51:17, 21).ye … they—The change from speaking to, to speaking of them, intimates that the prophet turnsaway from them to a greater distance, because of their stupid unbelief.10. Jehovah gives them up judicially to their own hardness of heart (compare Zec 14:13). Quotedby Paul, with variations from the Septuagint, Ro 11:8. See Isa 6:10; Ps 69:23.eyes; the prophets, &c.—rather, "hath closed your eyes, the prophets; and your heads (Margin;see also Isa 3:2), the seers, He hath covered." The Orientals cover the head to sleep; thus "covered"is parallel to "closed your eyes" (Jud 4:19). Covering the face was also preparatory to execution(Es 7:8). This cannot apply to the time when Isaiah himself prophesied, but to subsequent times.1134JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. of all—rather, "the whole vision." "Vision" is the same here as "revelation," or "law"; inIsa 28:15, the same Hebrew word is translated, "covenant" [Maurer].sealed—(Isa 8:16), God seals up the truth so that even the learned, because they lack believingdocility, cannot discern it (Mt 13:10-17; 11:25). Prophecy remained comparatively a sealed volume(Da 12:4, 9), until Jesus, who "alone is worthy," "opened the seals" (Re 5:1-5, 9; 6:1).12. The unlearned succeed no better than the learned, not from want of human learning, as theyfancy, but from not having the teaching of God (Isa 54:13; Jer 31:34; Joh 6:45; 1Co 2:7-10; 1Jo2:20).13. precept of men—instead of the precepts of God, given by His prophets; also worshipexternal, and by rule, not heartfelt as God requires (Joh 4:24). Compare Christ's quotation of thisverse from the Septuagint.14. (Hab 1:5; Ac 13:41). The "marvellous work" is one of unparalleled vengeance on thehypocrites: compare "strange work," Isa 28:21. The judgment, too, will visit the wise in that respectin which they most pride themselves; their wisdom shall be hid, that is, shall no longer appear, soas to help the nation in its distress (compare 1Co 1:19).15. seek deep to hide—rather, "That seek to hide deeply," &c. (compare Isa 30:1, 2). Thereference is to the secret plan which many of the Jewish nobles had of seeking Egyptian aid againstAssyria, contrary to the advice of Isaiah. At the same time the hypocrite in general is described,who, under a plausible exterior, tries to hide his real character, not only from men, but even fromGod.16. Rather, "Ah! your perverseness! just as if the potter should be esteemed as the clay!" [Maurer].Or, "Ye invert (turn upside down) the order of things, putting yourselves instead of God," and viceversa, just as if the potter should be esteemed as the clay [Horsley], (Isa 45:9; 64:8).17. turned—as contrasted with your "turnings of things upside down" (Isa 29:16), there shallbe other and better turnings or revolutions; the outpouring of the Spirit in the latter days (Isa 32:15);first on the Jews; which shall be followed by their national restoration (see on Isa 29:2; Zec 12:10)then on the Gentiles (Joe 2:28).fruitful field—literally, "a Carmel" (see on Isa 10:18). The moral change in the Jewish nationshall be as great as if the wooded Lebanon were to become a fruitful field, and vice versa. CompareMt 11:12, Greek: "the kingdom of heaven forces itself," as it were, on man's acceptance; insteadof men having to seek Messiah, as they had John, in a desert, He presents Himself before themwith loving invitations; thus men's hearts, once a moral desert, are reclaimed so as to bear fruits ofrighteousness: vice versa, the ungodly who seemed prosperous, both in the moral and literal sense,shall be exhibited in their real barrenness.18. deaf … blind—(Compare Mt 11:5). The spiritually blind, &c., are chiefly meant; "thebook," as Revelation is called pre-eminently, shall be no longer "sealed," as is described (Isa 29:11),but the most unintelligent shall hear and see (Isa 35:5).19. meek—rather, the afflicted godly: the idea is, virtuous suffering (Isa 61:1; Ps 25:9; 37:11)[Barnes].poor among men—that is, the poorest of men, namely, the pious poor.rejoice—when they see their oppressors punished (Isa 29:20, 21), and Jehovah exhibited astheir protector and rewarder (Isa 29:22-24; Isa 41:17; Jas 2:5).20. terrible—namely, the persecutors among the Jewish nobles.scorner—(Isa 28:14, 22).1135JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwatch for—not only commit iniquity, but watch for opportunities of committing it, and makeit their whole study (see Mic 2:1; Mt 26:59; 27:1).21. Rather, "Who make a man guilty in his cause" [Gesenius], that is, unjustly condemn him. "Aman" is in the Hebrew a poor man, upon whom such unjust condemnations might be practiced withmore impunity than on the rich; compare Isa 29:19, "the meek … the poor."him that reproveth—rather, "pleadeth"; one who has a suit at issue.gate—the place of concourse in a city, where courts of justice were held (Ru 4:11; Pr 31:23;Am 5:10, 12).just—one who has a just cause; or, Jesus Christ, "the Just One" [Horsley].for a thing of naught—rather, "through falsehood," "by a decision that is null in justice"[Barnes]. Compare as to Christ, Pr 28:21; Mt 26:15; Ac 3:13, 14; 8:33.22. Join "saith … concerning the house of Jacob."redeemed—out of Ur, a land of idolaters (Jos 24:3).not now—After the moral revolution described (Isa 29:17), the children of Jacob shall no longergive cause to their forefathers to blush for them.wax pale—with shame and disappointment at the wicked degeneracy of his posterity, and fearas to their punishment.23. But—rather, "For."he— of mine hands—spiritually, as well as physically (Isa 19:25; 60:21; Eph 2:10). ByJehovah's agency Israel shall be cleansed of its corruptions, and shall consist wholly of pious men(Isa 54:13, 14; 2:1; 60:21).midst of him—that is, his land. Or else "His children" are the Gentiles adopted among theIsraelites, his lineal descendants (Ro 9:26; Eph 3:6) [Horsley].24. They … that erred—(Isa 28:7).learn doctrine—rather, "shall receive discipline" or "instruction." "Murmuring" was thecharacteristic of Israel's rebellion against God (Ex 16:8; Ps 106:25). This shall be so no more.Chastisements, and, in Horsley's view, the piety of the Gentiles provoking the Jews to holy jealousy(Ro 11:11, 14), shall then produce the desired effect.CHAPTER 30Isa 30:1-32. The Thirtieth Through Thirty-second Chapters Refer Probably to the Summer of 714 B.C., AS THETwenty-ninth Chapter to the Passover of That Year.Jewish ambassadors were now on their way to Egypt to seek aid against Assyria (Isa 30:2-6,15; 31:1). Isaiah denounces this reliance on Egypt rather than on Jehovah. God had prohibited suchalliances with heathen nations, and it was a leading part of Jewish polity that they should be aseparate people (Ex 23:32; De 7:2).1. take counsel—rather, as Isa 30:4, 6 imply, "execute counsels."cover … covering—that is, wrap themselves in reliances disloyal towards Jehovah. "Cover"thus answers to "seek to hide deeply their counsel from the Lord" (Isa 29:15). But the Hebrew isliterally, "who pour out libations"; as it was by these that leagues were made (Ex 24:8; Zec 9:11),translate, "who make a league."1136JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot of—not suggested by My Spirit" (Nu 27:21; Jos 9:14).that they may add—The consequence is here spoken of as their intention, so reckless werethey of sinning: one sin entails the commission of another (De 29:19).2. walk—are now setting out, namely, their ambassadors (Isa 30:4).Egypt—See on Isa 19:1; Isa 20:1.Pharaoh—the generic name of the kings of Egypt, as Cæsar was at Rome. The word in Egyptianmeans "king" [Josephus, Antiquities, 8.6,2]. Phra, "the sun," was the hieroglyphic symbol and titleof the king.shadow—image from shelter against heat: protection (Ps 121:5, 6).3. shame—disappointment. Egypt, weakened by its internal dissensions, can give no solid help.4. his—Judah's (compare Isa 9:21).at Zoan—are already arrived there on their errand to Pharaoh (see Isa 19:11).came to Hanes—are come there. West of the Nile, in central Egypt: Egyptian Hnes; the GreekHeracleopolis: perhaps the Anysis of Herodotus (2.137); according to Grotius, Tahpanhes contracted(Jer 43:7-9); the seat of a reigning prince at the time, as was Zoan, hence the Jewish ambassadorsgo to both.5. (Jer 2:36.)6. burden—the prophecy as to, &c. [Maurer]; so the Septuagint, the fresh inscription here marksemphatically the prediction that follows. Or, rather, Isaiah sees in vision, the ambassador's beastsburdened with rich presents travelling southwards (namely, to Egypt, Da 11:5, 6), and exclaims,Oh, the burden of treasure on the beasts! &c. (Ho 8:9; 12:1).land of trouble—the desert between Palestine and Egypt, destitute of water and abounding indangerous animals (De 8:15; Jer 2:6).flying serpent—(Isa 14:29), a species which springs like a dart from trees, on its prey.will carry—rather, present, "carry," namely, as presents to Egypt (1Ki 15:19).young asses—rather, "full-grown asses" [Maurer].7. "Egypt is vanity, and to no purpose will they help" [G. V. Smith].strength—Hebrew, Rabah, a designation for Egypt (Isa 51:9; Ps 87:4), implying her haughtyfierceness; translate, "Therefore I call her Arrogance that sitteth still." She who boasted of the helpshe would give, when it came to the test, sat still (Isa 36:6). English Version agrees with Isa 30:15;Isa 7:4.8. table—a tablet (Hab 2:2), which should be set in public, containing the prophecy in a brieferform, to be read by all.a book—namely, a parchment roll, containing the prophecy in full, for the use of distantposterity. Its truth will be seen hereafter when the event has come to pass. See on Isa 8:1; Isa 8:16.for ever and ever—rather read, "For a testimony for ever" [Chaldee, Jerome, Lowth]: "testimonyis often joined to the notion of perpetuity (De 31:19, 21, 26).9. lying—unfaithful to Jehovah, whose covenant they had taken on them as His adopted children(Isa 59:13; Pr 30:9).10. (Mic 2:6, 11; 3:5).See not—as you now do, foretelling misfortune.Prophesy not … right things—Not that they avowedly requested this, but their conduct virtuallyexpressed it. No man, professedly, wished to be deceived; but many seek a kind of teaching whichis deceit; and which, if they would examine, they might know to be such (1Ki 22:13). The Jews1137JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondesired success to be foretold as the issue of their league with Egypt, though ill had been announcedby God's prophet as the result; this constituted the "deceits."11. Depart from the true "way" (so in Ac 19:9, 23) of religion.cause … to cease—Let us hear no more of His name. God's holiness is what troubles sinnersmost.12. Holy One—Isaiah so little yields to their wicked prejudices that he repeats the very nameand truth which they disliked.this word—Isaiah's exhortation to reliance on Jehovah.oppression—whereby they levied the treasures to be sent to conciliate Egypt (Isa 30:6).perverseness—in relying on Egypt, rather than on Jehovah.13. Image from a curve swelling out in a wall (Ps 62:3); when the former gives way, it causesthe downfall of the whole wall; so their policy as to Egypt.14. he—the enemy; or rather, God (Ps 2:9; Jer 19:11).It—the Jewish state.potter's vessel—earthen and fragile.sherd—a fragment of the vessel large enough to take up a live coal, &c.pit—cistern or pool. The swell of the wall is at first imperceptible and gradual, but at last itcomes to the crisis; so the decay of the Jewish state.15. returning and rest—turning back from your embassy to Egypt, and ceasing from warlikepreparations.quietness—answering to "wait for Him (God)" (Isa 30:18).16. flee—not as fugitives, but we will speed our course; namely, against the Assyrians, by thehelp of cavalry supplied by Egypt (Isa 31:1). This was expressly against the Mosaic law (De 17:16;see on Isa 2:7; Ho 14:3).shall … flee—literally, "before your enemies"; their sin and its punishment correspond.17. One thousand—A thousand at once, or, "As one man" [Maurer].rebuke—the battle cry.shall ye—at the rebuke of five shall ye, namely, all (in contrast to the "one thousand") flee soutterly that even two shall not be left together, but each one shall be as solitary "as a signal staff"[G. V. Smith], or "a banner on a hill" (Isa 5:26; 11:12). The signal staff was erected to rally a nationin war. The remnant of Jews left would be beacons to warn all men of the justice of God, and thetruth of His threatenings. Gesenius (from Le 26:8; De 32:30) arbitrarily inserts "ten thousand." "Atthe rebuke of five shall ten thousand of you flee."18. therefore—on account of your wicked perverseness (Isa 30:1, 2, 9, 15, 16), Jehovah willdelay to be gracious [Horsley]. Rather, wait or delay in punishing, to give you time for repentance(Isa 30:13, 14, 17) [Maurer]. Or, "Yet therefore" (namely, because of the distress spoken of in theprevious verses; that distress will lead the Jews to repentance, and so Jehovah will pity them)[Gesenius].be exalted—Men will have more elevated views of God's mercy; or else, "He will rise up topity you" [G. V. Smith]. Or (taking the previous clause as Maurer, "Therefore Jehovah will delay" inpunishing you, "in order that He may be gracious to you," if ye repent), He will be far removedfrom you (so in Ps 10:5, far above out sight); that is, He will not immediately descend to punish,"in order that He may have mercy," &c.judgment—justice; faithfulness to His covenant.1138JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwait—compare Isa 30:15, wait, namely, for His times of having mercy.19. (Isa 65:9). The restoration from Babylon only typifies the full accomplishment of theprophecy (Isa 30:18-33).weep no more—(Isa 25:8).thy cry—(Isa 26:8, 9; Jer 29:12-14).20. Rather, "The Lord will give"; the "though" is not in the original.bread of adversity—He will not deny you food enough to save you in your adversity (1Ki22:27; Ps 127:2).be removed—rather, "hide themselves"; they shall no more be forced to hide themselves frompersecution, but shall be openly received with reverence [Maurer]. Contrast with this Ps 74:9; Am8:11.21. word—conscience, guided by the Holy Spirit (Joh 16:13).22. covering of … images—rather, "images" (formed of wood or potter's clay, and) "coveredwith silver." Hezekiah, and afterwards Josiah, defiled them (2Ki 23:8, 10, 14, 16; 2Ch 31:1; compareIsa 2:20; De 7:25).23. rain of—rather, "for thy seed." Physical prosperity accompanies national piety; especiallyunder the Old Testament. The early rain fell soon after the seed was sown in October or November;the latter rain in the spring, before the ripening of the corn. Both were needed for a good harvest.increase—the produce.fat—bread made of the best wheat flour (compare Ge 49:20; De 32:14).24. ear—that is, till. Asses were employed in tillage, as well as oxen (De 22:10).clean—rather, salted provender [Gesenius]. The Arab proverb is, "Sweet provender is as breadto camels—salted provender as confectionery." The very cattle shall share the coming felicity. Orelse, well-fermented maslin, that is, provender formed of a mixture of various substances: grain,beans, vetches, hay, and salt.winnowed—not as it is usually given to cattle before it is separated from the chaff; the grainshall be so abundant that it shall be given winnowed.shovel—by which the grain was thrown up in the wind to separate it from the—an instrument for winnowing.25. Even the otherwise barren hills shall then be well-watered (Isa 44:3).the day, &c.—when the disobedient among the Jews shall have been slain, as foretold in Isa30:16: "towers," that is, mighty men (Isa 2:15). Or else, the towers of the Assyrian Sennacherib,or of Babylon, types of all enemies of God's people.26. Image from the heavenly bodies to express the increase of spiritual light and felicity."Sevenfold" implies the perfection of that felicity, seven being the sacred number. It shall also beliterally fulfilled hereafter in the heavenly city (Isa 60:19, 20; Re 21:23, 24; 22:5).breach—the wound, or calamity, sent by God on account of their sins (Isa 1:5).27. name of … Lord—that is, Jehovah Himself (Ps 44:5; 54:1); represented as a stormapproaching and ready to burst over the Assyrians (Isa 30:30, 31).burden … is heavy—literally, "grievousness is the flame," that is, the flame which darts fromHim is grievous. Or else (as the Hebrew means an "uplifting") the uprising cloud is grievous [G. V.Smith]; the gathering cloud gradually rising till it bursts.28. (Isa 11:4; 2Th 2:8).1139JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonreach … neck—the most extreme danger; yet as the head, or capital of Judah, was to be spared(Isa 8:8), so the head, or sovereign of Assyria, Sennacherib, should escape.sieve of vanity—Rather, "the winnowing fan of destruction" [Lowth] (Isa 41:16).bridle in … jaws—as prisoners are represented in the Assyrian inscriptions (Isa 37:29).causing … to err—(Isa 63:17). "People," Hebrew, "peoples," namely, the various racescomposing the Assyrian armies (Isa 5:26).29. the night … solemnity—As in the passover night ye celebrate your deliverance from Egypt,so shall ye celebrate your rescue from Assyrian bondage. Translate, "the solemnity" (Ex 12:42).goeth with a pipe—or flute. They used to go up to Jerusalem ("the mountain of the Lord,"Zion) at the three feasts with music and gladness (De 16:16; Ezr 2:65; Ps 122:1-4).30. Jehovah's "glorious voice," raised against the enemy (Isa 30:27), is again mentioned here,in contrast to the music (Isa 30:29) with which His people shall come to worship down of … arm—(Isa 30:32; Ps 38:2). The descent of His arm in striking.scattering—namely, a blast that scatters, or an "inundation" [Maurer].31. The Assyrian rod which beat shall itself be beaten, and that by the mere voice of the Lord,that is, an unseen divine agency (Isa 10:5, 24).32. grounded—rather, "decreed," "appointed" [Maurer].staff—the avenging rod.him—the Assyrian; type of all God's enemies in every age. Margin and Maurer construe, "Everypassing through (infliction, Isa 28:15) of the appointed rod, which, &c., shall be with tabrets," thatis, accompanied with joy on the part of the rescued peoples.battles of shaking—that is, shock of battles (Isa 19:16; compare "sift … sieve," Isa 30:28).with it—namely, Assyria.33. Tophet—literally, "A place of abomination"; the valley of the sons of Hinnom, southeastof Jerusalem, where Israel offered human sacrifices to Moloch by fire; hence a place of burning(2Ki 23:10; Jer 7:31). Latterly Gehinnom or Gehenna, that is, valley of Hinnom, was the receptacleof the refuse of the city, to consume which fires were constantly burning. Hence it came to expresshell, the place of torment. In the former sense it was a fit place to symbolize the funeral pyre of theAssyrian army (not that it actually perished there); the Hebrews did not burn, but buried their dead,but the heathen Assyrians are to be burnt as a mark of ignominy. In the latter sense Tophet is thereceptacle "prepared for the devil (antitype to the king, Isa 14:12-15) and his angels," and unbelievingmen (Mt 5:22; 25:41; Mr 9:43, 44).CHAPTER 31Isa 31:1-9. The Chief Strength of the Egyptian Armies Lay in Their Cavalry.1. and stay on horses, and trust in chariots—In their level and fertile plains horses couldeasily be used and fed (Ex 14:9; 1Ki 10:28). In hilly Palestine horses were not so easily had oravailable. The Jews were therefore the more eager to get Egyptian chariots as allies against theAssyrian cavalry. In Assyrian sculptures chariots are represented drawn by three horses, and withthree men in them (see Isa 36:9; Ps 20:7; Da 9:13).1140JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. he also is wise—as well as the Egyptian priests, so famed for wisdom (Ac 7:22), but whoare "fools" before Him (Isa 19:11). He not only devises, but executes what He devises without"calling back His words" (Nu 23:19).home—the whole—the Egyptian succor sought by the Jews.3. not spirit—not of divine power (Ps 56:4; 146:3, 5; Zec 4:6).he that helpeth—Egypt.holpen—Judah.4. (Isa 42:13; Ho 11:10).roaring on—"growling over" his prey.abase himself—be disheartened or frightened.5. As in the image of "the lion," the point of comparison is the fearless might of Jehovah; so inthat of the birds, it is His solicitous affection (De 32:11; Ps 91:4; Mt 23:37).flying—Rather, "which defend" their young with their wings; "to fly" is a secondary meaningof the Hebrew word [Maurer]. "Hovering over" to protect their young [G. V. Smith].passing over—as the destroying angel passing over, so as to spare the blood-marked housesof the Israelites on the first passover (Ex 12:13, 23, 27). He passed, or leaped forward [Lowth], todestroy the enemy and to spare His people.6. The power and love of Jehovah, just mentioned, are the strongest incentives for returning toHim (Eze 16:62, 63; Ho 6:1).ye … Israel—The change of person marks that when they return to the Lord, He will addressthem in more direct terms of communion in the second person; so long as they were revolters, Godspeaks of them, as more at a distance, in the third person, rather than to them.7. In the day of trial the idols will be found to render no help and will therefore be cast away.Compare as to the future restoration and conversion of Israel simultaneously with the interpositionof Jehovah in its defense, Zec 12:9-14; 13:1, 2.for a sin—that is, whereby especially you contracted guilt (1Ki 12:30).8. Assyrian—Sennacherib, representative of some powerful head of the ungodly in the latterages [Horsley].sword, not of … mighty … mean man—but by the unseen sword of God.flee—Sennacherib alone fled homewards after his army had been destroyed (Isa 37:37).young men—the flower of his army.discomfited—rather, "shall be subject to slavery"; literally, "shall be liable to tribute," that is,personal service (De 20:11; Jos 9:21) [Maurer]. Or, not so well, "shall melt away" [Rosenmuller].9. Rather, "shall pass beyond his strongholds"; he Shall not stop to take refuge in it throughfear (Jud 20:47; Jer 48:28) [Gesenius].ensign—the banner of Jehovah protecting the Jews [Maurer].fire … furnace—"light" and "fire," namely, of Jehovah's altar at Jerusalem (Isa 29:1). Perhaps"furnace," as distinguished from "fire," may mean that His dwelling-place (His hearth) was atJerusalem (compare Isa 4:5); or else the fiery furnace awaiting all the enemies who should attackJerusalem.1141JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 32Isa 32:1-20. Messiah's Kingdom; Desolations, to Be Succeeded by Lasting Peace, the Spirit Having Been PouredOut.The times of purity and happiness which shall follow the defeat of the enemies of Jehovah'speople (Isa 32:1-8). The period of wrath before that happy state (Isa 32:9-14). The assurance of thefinal prosperity of the Church is repeated (Isa 32:15-20).1. king—not Hezekiah, who was already on the throne, whereas a future time is contemplated.If he be meant at all, it can only be as a type of Messiah the King, to whom alone the language isfully applicable (Ho 3:5; Zec 9:9; see on Isa 11:3-5). The kingdom shall be transferred from theworld kings, who have exercised their power against God, instead of for God, to the rightful Kingof kings (Eze 21:27; Da 7:13, 14).princes—subordinate; referring to all in authority under Christ in the coming kingdom on earth,for example, the apostles, &c. (Lu 22:30; 1Co 6:2; 2Ti 2:12; Re 2:26, 27; 3:21).2. a man—rather, the man Christ [Lowth]; it is as "the Son of man" He is to reign, as it was asSon of man He suffered (Mt 26:64; Joh 5:27; 19:5). Not as Maurer explains, "every one of the princesshall be," &c.rivers—as refreshing as water and the cool shade are to the heated traveller (Isa 35:6, 7; 41:18).3. them that see—the seers or prophets.them that hear—the people under instruction (Isa 35:5, 6).4. rash—rather, "the hasty"; contrast "shall not make haste" (Isa 28:16); the reckless who willnot take time to weigh religious truth aright. Or else, the well-instructed [Horsley].stammers—those who speak confusedly on divine things (compare Ex 4:10-12; Jer 1:6; Mt10:19, 20). Or, rather, those drunken scorners who in stammering style imitated Isaiah's warningsto mock them [Maurer] (Isa 28:7-11, 13, 14, 22; 29:20); in this view, translate, "speak uprightly"(agreeably to the divine law); not as English Version, referring to the distinctness of articulation,"plainly."5. vile—rather, "fool" [Lowth]; that is, ungodly (Ps 14:1; 74:18).liberal—rather, "noble-minded."churl—rather, "fraudulent" [Gesenius].bountiful—religiously. The atheistic churl, who envies the believer his hope "full ofimmortality," shall no longer be held as a patriot struggling for the emancipation of mankind fromsuperstition [Horsley].6. vile … villainy—rather, "the (irreligious) fool … (his) folly."will speak—rather, "present"; for (so far is the "fool" from deserving the epithet "noble-minded")the fool "speaketh" folly and "worketh," &c.hypocrisy—rather, "profligacy" [Horsley].error—impiety, perverse arguments.hungry—spiritually (Mt 5:6).7. churl—"the fraudulent"; this verse refers to the last clause of Isa 32:5; as Isa 32:6 referredto its first clause.speaketh right—pleadeth a just cause (Isa 29:21); spiritually, "the poor man's cause" is thedivine doctrine, his rule of faith and practice.8. liberal—rather, "noble-minded."stand—shall be approved under the government of the righteous King.1142JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9-20. Address to the women of Jerusalem who troubled themselves little about the politicalsigns of the times, but lived a life of self-indulgence (Isa 3:16-23); the failure of food through thedevastations of the enemy is here foretold, being what was most likely to affect them as mothersof families, heretofore accustomed to every luxury. Vitringa understands "women—daughters" asthe cities and villages of Judea (Eze 16:1-63). See Am 6:1.10. Many days and years—rather, "In little more than a year" [Maurer]; literally, "days upon ayear" (so Isa 29:1).vintage shall fail—through the arrival of the Assyrian invader. As the wheat harvest is omitted,Isaiah must look for the invasion in the summer or autumn of 714 B.C., when the wheat would havebeen secured already, and the later fruit "gathering," and vintage would be still in danger.11. strip you—of your gay clothing. (See Isa 2:19, 21).12. lament for … teats—rather, shall smite on their breasts in lamentation "for thy pleasantfields" (Na 2:7) [Maurer]. "Teats" in English Version is used for fertile lands, which, like breasts,nourish life. The transition from "ye" to "they" (Isa 32:11, 12) is frequent.13. (Isa 5:6; 7:23).houses of joy—pleasure-houses outside of Jerusalem, not Jerusalem itself, but other citiesdestroyed by Sennacherib in his march (Isa 7:20-25). However, the prophecy, in its fullaccomplishment, refers to the utter desolation of Judea and its capital by Rome, and subsequently,previous to the second coming of the King (Ps 118:26; Lu 13:35; 19:38); "the joyous city" is inthis view, Jerusalem (Isa 22:2).14. palaces—most applicable to Jerusalem (see on Isa 32:13).multitude … left—the noisy din of the city, that is, the city with its noisy multitude shall lieforsaken [Maurer].forts—rather, "Ophel" (that is, the mound), the term applied specially to the declivity on theeast of Zion, surrounded with its own wall (2Ch 27:3; 33:14; 2Ki 5:24), and furnished with "towers"(or watchtowers), perhaps referred to here (Ne 3:26, 27).for ever—limited by thee, "until," &c., Isa 32:15, for a long time.15. This can only partially apply to the spiritual revival in Hezekiah's time; its fullaccomplishment belongs to the Christian dispensation, first at Pentecost (Joe 2:28; Ac 2:17),perfectly in coming times (Ps 104:30; Eze 36:26; 39:29; Zec 12:10), when the Spirit shall be pouredon Israel, and through it on the Gentiles (Mic 5:7).wilderness … fruitful field … forest—when Judea, so long waste, shall be populous andfruitful, and the land of the enemies of God shall be desolate. Or, "the field, now fruitful, shall bebut as a barren forest in comparison with what it shall be then" (Isa 29:17). The barren shall becomefruitful by regeneration; those already regenerate shall bring forth fruits in such abundance thattheir former life shall seem but as a wilderness where no fruits were.16. judgment—justice.wilderness—then reclaimed.fruitful field—then become more fruitful (Isa 32:15); thus "wilderness" and "fruitful field"include the whole land of Judea.17. work—the effect (Pr 14:34; Jas 3:18).peace—internal and external.18. sure … quiet—free from fear of invasion.1143JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson19. Literally, "But it shall hail with coming down of the forest, and in lowness shall the city(Nineveh) be brought low; that is, humbled." The "hail" is Jehovah's wrathful visitation (Isa 30:30;28:2, 17). The "forest" is the Assyrian host, dense as the trees of a forest (Isa 10:18, 19, 33, 34; Zec11:2).20. While the enemy shall be brought "low," the Jews shall cultivate their land in undisturbedprosperity.all waters—well-watered places (Isa 30:25). The Hebrew translation, "beside," ought ratherto be translated, "upon" (Ec 11:1), where the meaning is, "Cast thy seed upon the waters when theriver overflows its banks; the seed will sink into the mud and will spring up when the waters subside,and you will find it after many days in a rich harvest." Before sowing, they send oxen, &c., intothe water to tread the ground for sowing. Castalio thinks there is an allusion to the Mosaic precept,not to plough with an ox and ass together, mystically implying that the Jew was to have nointercourse with Gentiles; the Gospel abolishes this distinction (Col 3:11); thus the sense here is,Blessed are ye that sow the gospel seed without distinction of race in the teachers or the taught.But there is no need of supposing that the ox and ass here are yoked together; they are probably"sent forth" separately, as in Isa 30:24.CHAPTER 33Isa 33:1-24. The Last of Isaiah's Prophecies as to Sennacherib's Overthrow.Isa 33:1, 8, 9, describe the Assyrian spoiler; strong as he is, he shall fall before Jehovah whois stronger (Isa 33:2-6, 10-12). The time is the autumn of 713 B.C.1. and thou—that is, though thou wast not spoiled—though thou wast not dealt treacherouslywith (see on Isa 24:16), thy spoiling and treachery are therefore without excuse, being unprovoked.cease—When God has let thee do thy worst, in execution of His plans, thine own turn shallcome (compare Isa 10:12; 14:2; Hab 2:8; Re 13:10).2. us; we … their … our—He speaks interceding for His people, separating himself in thoughtfor a moment from them, and immediately returns to his natural identification with them in theword "our."every morning—each day as it dawns, especially during our danger, as the parallel "time oftrouble" shows.3. the tumult—the approach of Jehovah is likened to an advancing thunderstorm (Isa 29:6;30:27), which is His voice (Re 1:15), causing the people to "flee."nation—the Assyrian levies.4. The invaders' "spoil" shall be left behind by them in their flight, and the Jews shall gather it.caterpillar—rather, "the wingless locust"; as it gathers; the Hebrew word for "gathers" isproperly used of the gathering of the fruits of harvest (Isa 32:10).running to and fro—namely, in gathering harvest fruits.he—rather, "they."them—rather, "it," that is, the prey.6. wisdom—sacred; that is, piety.thy—Hezekiah's; or rather, "Judea's." "His" refers to the same; such changes from the pronounpossessive of the second person to that of the third are common in Hebrew poetry.1144JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontreasure—Not so much material wealth as piety shall constitute the riches of the nation (Pr10:22; 15:16).7-9. From the vision of future glory Isaiah returns to the disastrous present; the grief of "thevaliant ones" (parallel to, and identical with, "the ambassadors of peace"), men of rank, sent withpresents to sue for peace, but standing "without" the enemy's camp, their suit being rejected (2Ki18:14, 18, 37). The highways deserted through fear, the cities insulted, the lands devastated.cry—(Isa 15:4).8. broken … covenant—When Sennacherib invaded Judea, Hezekiah paid him a large sum toleave the land; Sennacherib received the money and yet sent his army against Jerusalem (2Ki 18:14,17).despised—make slight of as unable to resist him (Isa 10:9; 36:19); easily captures them.9. (Isa 24:4).Lebanon—personified; the allusion may be to the Assyrian cutting down its choice trees (Isa14:8; 37:24).Sharon—south of Carmel, along the Mediterranean, proverbial for fertility (Isa 35:2).Bashan—afterwards called Batanea (Isa 2:13).fruits—rather, understand "leaves"; they lie as desolate as in winter.10. The sight of His people's misery arouses Jehovah; He has let the enemy go far enough.I—emphatic; God Himself will do what man could not.11. Ye—the enemy.conceive chaff—(Isa 26:18; 59:4).your breath—rather, your own spirit of anger and ambition [Maurer], (Isa 30:28).12. (Isa 9:19; Am 2:1). Perhaps alluding to their being about to be burnt on the funeral pyre(Isa 30:33).thorns—the wicked (2Sa 23:6, 7).13. far off—distant nations.near—the Jews and adjoining peoples (Isa 49:1).14. sinners in Zion—false professors of religion among the elect people (Mt 22:12).hypocrites—rather, "the profane"; "the abandoned" [Horsley].who, &c.—If Jehovah's wrath could thus consume such a host in one night, who could abideit, if continued for ever (Mr 9:46-48)? Fire is a common image for the divine judgments (Isa 29:6;30:30).among us—If such awful judgments have fallen on those who knew not the true God, howinfinitely worse shall fall on us who, amid religious privileges and profession, sin against God, (Lu12:47, 48; Jas 4:17)?15. In contrast to the trembling "sinners in Zion" (Isa 33:14), the righteous shall be secure amidall judgments; they are described according to the Old Testament standpoint of righteousness (Ps15:2; 24:4).stoppeth … ears … eyes—"Rejoiceth not in iniquity" (1Co 13:6; contrast Isa 29:20; Ps 10:3;Ro 1:32). The senses are avenues for the entrance of sin (Ps 119:37).16. on high—heights inaccessible to the foe (Isa 26:1).bread … waters—image from the expected siege by Sennacherib; however besieged by trialswithout, the godly shall have literal and spiritual food, as God sees good for them (Isa 41:17; Ps37:25; 34:10; 132:15).1145JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. Thine—the saints'.king in … beauty—not as now, Hezekiah in sackcloth, oppressed by the enemy, but KingMessiah (Isa 32:1) "in His beauty" (So 5:10, 16; Re 4:3).land … very far off—rather, "the land in its remotest extent" (no longer pent up as Hezekiahwas with the siege); see Margin. For Jerusalem is made the scene of the king's glory (Isa 33:20,&c.), and it could not be said to be "very far off," unless the far-off land be heaven, the Jerusalemabove, which is to follow the earthly reign of Messiah at literal Jerusalem (Isa 65:17-19; Jer 3:17;Re 21:1, 2, 10).18. meditate—on the "terror" caused by the enemy, but now past.where, &c.—the language of the Jews exulting over their escape from danger.scribe—who enrolled the army [Maurer]; or, who prescribed the tribute to be paid [Rosenmuller];or, who kept an account of the spoil. "The principal scribe of the host" (2Ki 25:19; Jer 52:25). TheAssyrian records are free from the exaggerations of Egyptian records. Two scribes are seen in everyAssyrian bas-relief, writing down the various objects brought to them, the heads of the slain,prisoners, cattle, sheep, &c.receiver—"weigher," Margin. Layard mentions, among the Assyrian inscriptions, "a pair a scalesfor weighing the spoils."counted … towers—he whose duty it was to reconnoitre and report the strength of the city tobe besieged.19. fierce people—The Assyrians shall not be allowed to enter Jerusalem (2Ki 19:32). Or, thoushalt not any longer see fierce enemies threatening thee as previously; such as the Assyrians,Romans, and the last Antichristian host that is yet to assail Jerusalem (De 28:49, 50; Jer 5:15; Zec14:2).stammering—barbarous; so "deeper," &c., that is, unintelligible. The Assyrian tongue differedonly in dialect from the Hebrew, but in the Assyrian levies were many of non-Semitic race andlanguage, as the Medes, Elamites, &c. (see on Isa 28:11).20. solemnities—solemn assemblies at the great feasts (see on Isa 30:29; Ps 42:4; Ps 48:12).not … taken down … removed—image from captives "removed" from their land (Isa 36:17).There shall be no more "taking away" to an enemy's land. Or else, from nomads living in shiftingtents. The saints, who sojourned once in tabernacles as pilgrims, shall have a "building ofGod—eternal in the heavens" (2Co 5:1; Heb 11:9, 10; compare Isa 54:2).stakes—driven into the ground; to these the "cords" were fastened. Christ's Church shall neverfall (Mt 16:18). So individual believers (Re 3:12).21. there—namely, in Jerusalem.will be … rivers—Jehovah will be as a broad river surrounding our city (compare Isa 19:6;Na 3:8), and this, too, a river of such a kind as no ship of war can pass (compare Isa 26:1). Jerusalemhad not the advantage of a river; Jehovah will be as one to it, affording all the advantages, withoutany of the disadvantages of one.galley with oars—war vessels of a long shape, and propelled by oars; merchant vessels werebroader and carried sail.gallant—same Hebrew word as for "glorious," previously; "mighty" will suit both places; aship of war is meant. No "mighty vessel" will dare to pass where the "mighty Lord" stands as ourdefense.22. Lord—thrice repeated, as often: the Trinity (Nu 6:24-26).1146JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjudge … lawgiver … king—perfect ideal of the theocracy, to be realized under Messiah alone;the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king to be exercised by Him in person (Isa11:4; 32:1; Jas 4:12).23. tacklings—Continuing the allegory in Isa 33:21, he compares the enemies' host to a wargalley which is deprived of the tacklings or cords by which the mast is sustained and the sail isspread; and which therefore is sure to be wrecked on "the broad river" (Isa 33:21), and become theprey of Israel.they—the tacklings, "hold not firm the base of the mast."then—when the Assyrian host shall have been discomfited. Hezekiah had given Sennacheribthree hundred talents of silver, and thirty of gold (2Ki 18:14-16), and had stripped the temple ofits gold to give it to him; this treasure was probably part of the prey found in the foe's camp. Afterthe invasion, Hezekiah had so much wealth that he made an improper display of it (2Ki 20:13-15);this wealth, probably, was in part got from the Assyrian.the lame—Even the most feeble shall spoil the Assyrian camp (compare Isa 35:6; 2Sa 5:6).24. sick—Smith thinks the allusion is to the beginning of the pestilence by which the Assyrianswere destroyed, and which, while sparing the righteous, affected some within the city ("sinners inZion"); it may have been the sickness that visited Hezekiah (Isa 38:1-22). In the Jerusalem to comethere shall be no "sickness," because there will be no "iniquity," it being forgiven (Ps 103:3). Thelatter clause of the verse contains the cause of the former (Mr 2:5-9).CHAPTER 34Isa 34:1-17. Judgment on Idumea.The thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth chapters form one prophecy, the former part of which denouncesGod's judgment against His people's enemies, of whom Edom is the representative; the second part,of the flourishing state of the Church consequent on those judgments. This forms the terminationof the prophecies of the first part of Isaiah (the thirty-sixth through thirty-ninth chapters beinghistorical) and is a kind of summary of what went before, setting forth the one main truth, Israelshall be delivered from all its foes, and happier times shall succeed under Messiah.1. All creation is summoned to hear God's judgments (Eze 6:3; De 32:1; Ps 50:4; Mic 6:1, 2),for they set forth His glory, which is the end of creation (Re 15:3; 4:11).that come forth of it—answering to "all that is therein"; or Hebrew, "all whatever fills it,"Margin.2. utterly destroyed—rather, "doomed them to an utter curse" [Horsley].delivered—rather, "appointed."3. cast out—unburied (Isa 14:19).melted—washed away as with a descending torrent.4. (Ps 102:26; Joe 2:31; 3:15; Mt 24:29).dissolved—(2Pe 3:10-12). Violent convulsions of nature are in Scripture made the images ofgreat changes in the human world (Isa 24:19-21), and shall literally accompany them at the windingup of the present dispensation.scroll—Books were in those days sheets of parchment rolled together (Re 6:14).fall down—The stars shall fall when the heavens in which they are fixed pass away.1147JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfig tree—(Re 6:13).5. sword—(Jer 46:10). Or else, knife for sacrifice for God does not here appear as a warriorwith His sword, but as one about to sacrifice victims doomed to slaughter [Vitringa]. (Eze 39:17).bathed—rather "intoxicated," namely, with anger (so De 32:42). "In heaven" implies the placewhere God's purpose of wrath is formed in antithesis to its "coming down" in the next clause.Idumea—originally extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea; afterwards they obtainedpossession of the country east of Moab, of which Bozrah was capital. Petra or Selah, called Joktheel(2Ki 14:7), was capital of South Edom (see on Isa 16:1). David subjugated Edom (2Sa 8:13, 14).Under Jehoram they regained independence (2Ch 21:8). Under Amaziah they were again subdued,and Selah taken (2Ki 14:7). When Judah was captive in Babylon, Edom, in every way, insultedover her fallen mistress, killed many of those Jews whom the Chaldeans had left, and hence washeld guilty of fratricide by God (Esau, their ancestor, having been brother to Jacob): this was thecause of the denunciations of the prophets against Edom (Isa 63:1, &c.; Jer 49:7; Eze 25:12-14;35:3-15; Joe 3:19; Am 1:11, 12; Ob 8, 10, 12-18; Mal 1:3,4). Nebuchadnezzar humbled Idumeaaccordingly (Jer 25:15-21).of my curse—that is, doomed to judgment—that is, to execute it.6. filled—glutted. The image of a sacrifice is continued.blood … fat—the parts especially devoted to God in a sacrifice (2Sa 1:22).lambs … goats—sacrificial animals: the Idumeans, of all classes, doomed to slaughter, aremeant (Zep 1:7).Bozrah—called Bostra by the Romans, &c., assigned in Jer 48:24 to Moab, so that it seems tohave been at one time in the dominion of Edom, and at another in that of Moab (Isa 63:1; Jer 49:13,20, 22); it was strictly not in Edom, but the capital of Auranitis (the Houran). Edom seems to haveextended its dominion so as to include it (compare La 4:21).7. unicorns—Hebrew, reem: conveying the idea of loftiness, power, and pre-eminence (see onJob 39:9), in the Bible. At one time the image in the term answers to a reality in nature; at anotherit symbolizes an abstraction. The rhinoceros was the original type. The Arab rim is two-horned: itwas the oryx (the leucoryx, antelope, bold and pugnacious); but when accident or artifice deprivedit of one horn, the notion of the unicorn arose. Here is meant the portion of the Edomites whichwas strong and warlike.come down—rather, "fall down," slain [Lowth].with them—with the "lambs and goats," the less powerful Edomites (Isa 34:6).bullocks … bulls—the young and old Edomites: all classes.dust—ground.8. recompenses for the controversy of Zion—that is, the year when God will retaliate onthose who have contended with Zion. Her controversy is His. Edom had thought to extend itsborders by laying hold of its neighbor's lands and has instigated Babylon to cruelty towards fallenJudah (Ps 137:7; Eze 36:5); therefore Edom shall suffer the same herself (La 4:21, 22). The finalwinding up of the controversy between God and all enemies of Him and His people is alsoforeshadowed (Isa 61:2; 63:4; 66:14-16; Mal 4:1, 3; 2Th 1:7, 8, 9; Re 11:18; 18:20; 19:2).9. Images from the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 19:24-28; so De 29:23; Jer 49:17,18).10. It—The burning pitch, &c. (Isa 34:9).1148JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsmoke … for ever—(Re 14:11; 18:18; 19:3).generation to generation—(Mal 1:4).none … pass through—Edom's original offense was: they would not let Israel pass throughtheir land in peace to Canaan: God recompenses them in kind, no traveller shall pass through Edom.Volney, the infidel, was forced to confirm the truth of this prophecy: "From the reports of the Arabs,southeast of the Dead Sea, within three days' journey are upwards of thirty ruined towns, absolutelydeserted."11. cormorant—The Hebrew is rendered, in Ps 102:6, "pelican," which is a seafowl, and cannotbe meant here: some waterfowl (katta, according to Burckhardt) that tenants desert places is intended.bittern—rather, "the hedgehog," or "porcupine" [Gesenius] (Isa 14:23).owl—from its being enumerated among water birds in Le 11:17; De 14:16. Maurer thinks ratherthe heron or crane is meant; from a Hebrew root, "to blow," as it utters a sound like the blowingof a horn (Re 18:2).confusion—devastation.line … stones—metaphor from an architect with line and plummet-stone (see on Isa 18:2; Isa28:17); God will render to it the exact measure of justice without mercy (Jas 2:13; 2Ki 21:13; La2:8; Am 7:7, 8).emptiness—desolation. Edom is now a waste of "stones."12. Rather, "As to her nobles, there shall be none there who shall declare a kingdom," that is,a king [Maurer]; or else, "There shall be no one there whom they shall call to the kingdom" [Rosenmuller](Isa 3:6, &c.). Idumea was at first governed by dukes (Ge 36:15); out of them the king wan chosenwhen the constitution became a monarchy.13. dragons—(See on Isa 13:21; Isa 13:22).court for owls—rather, "a dwelling for ostriches."14. wild beasts of the desert … island—rather, "wild cats … jackals" (Isa 13:21).screech owl—rather, "the night specter"; in Jewish superstition a female, elegantly dressed,that carried off children by night. The text does not assert the existence of such objects of superstition,but describes the place as one which superstition would people with such beings.15. great owl—rather, "the arrow snake," so called from its darting on its prey [Gesenius].lay—namely, eggs.gather under her shadow—rather, "cherishes" her young under, &c. (Jer 17:11).16. book of the Lord—the volume in which the various prophecies and other parts of Scripturebegan henceforward to be collected together (Isa 30:8; Da 9:2).Seek—(so Isa 8:16, 20; Joh 5:39; 7:52).no one … fail—of these prophecies (Mt 5:18).none shall want … mate—image from pairing of animals mentioned, Isa 34:15 ("mate"); noprediction shall want a fulfilment as its companion. Or rather, "none of these wild animals (justspoken of) shall be wanting: none shall be without its mate" to pair and breed with, in … his—Such changes of person are frequent in Hebrew poetry.them—the wild beasts.17. cast … lot—As conquerors apportion lands by lot, so Jehovah has appointed and markedout ("divided") Edom for the wild beasts (Nu 26:55, 56; Jos 18:4-6).1149JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 35Isa 35:1-10. Continuation of the Prophecy in the Thirty-fourth Chapter.See on Isa 34:1, introduction there.1. solitary place—literally, "a dry place," without springs of water. A moral wilderness ismeant.for them—namely, on account of the punishment inflicted according to the preceding prophecyon the enemy; probably the blessings set forth in this chapter are included in the causes for joy (Isa55:12).rose—rather, "the meadow-saffron," an autumnal flower with bulbous roots; so Syriac translation.2. glory of Lebanon—its ornament, namely, its cedars (Isa 10:34).excellency of Carmel—namely, its beauty.Sharon—famed for its fertility.see … glory of the Lord … excellency—(Isa 40:5, 9). While the wilderness which had neither"glory" nor "excellency" shall have both "given to it," the Lord shall have all the "glory" and"excellency" ascribed to Him, not to the transformed wilderness (Mt 5:16).3. Strengthen … hands … confirm … knees—The Hebrew for "strengthen" refers to thestrength residing in the hand for grasping and holding a thing manfully; "confirm," to the firmnesswith which one keeps his ground, so as not to be dislodged by any other [Maurer]. Encourage theJews, now desponding, by the assurance of the blessings promised.4. fearful—"hasty," Margin; that is, with a heart fluttered with agitation.with—the Hebrew is more forcible than the English Version: "God will come, vengeance! evenGod, a recompense!" The sense is the same.5, 6. Language figuratively, descriptive of the joy felt at the deliverance from Assyria andBabylon; literally, true of the antitypical times of Messiah and His miracles (see Margin references,Mt 11:5; Lu 7:2; 2Jo 5, 8; Ac 3:2).6. leap—literally, "fulfilled" (Ac 3:8; 14:10).sing—joyful … wilderness … waters—(Isa 41:18).7. parched ground—rather, "the mirage (Hebrew, Sharab, 'the sun's heat') shall become a(real) lake." The sun's rays refracted on the glowing sands at midday give the appearance of a lakeof water and often deceive the thirsty traveller (compare Jer 2:13; Isa 41:18).dragons—rather, "jackals."each—namely, jackal.grass—rather, "a dwelling or receptacle (answering to the previous habitation) for reeds," &c.(which only grow where there is water, Job 8:11). Where once there was no water, water shallabound.8. highway—such a causeway (raised way, from a Hebrew root, "to cast up") as was used forthe march of armies; valleys being filled up, hills and other obstructions removed (Isa 62:10;compare Isa 40:3, 4).way of holiness—Hebraism for "the holy way." Horsley translates, "the way of the Holy One;"but the words that follow, and Isa 35:10, show it is the way leading the redeemed back to Jerusalem,both the literal and the heavenly (Isa 52:1; Joe 3:17; Re 21:27); still Christ at His coming againshall be the Leader on the way, for which reason it is called, "The way of the Lord" (Isa 40:3; Mal3:1).1150JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonit shall be for those: the wayfaring men—rather, "He (the Holy One) shall be with them,walking in the way" [Horsley].though fools—rather, "And (even) fools," that is, the simple shall not go astray, namely, because"He shall be with them" (Mt 11:25; 1Co 1:26-28).9. No lion—such as might be feared on the way through the wilderness which abounded inwild beasts, back to Judea. Every danger shall be warded off the returning people (Isa 11:6-9; Eze34:25; Ho 2:18). Compare spiritually, Pr 3:17.10. Language: literally, applying to the return from Babylon; figuratively and more fully to thecompleted redemption of both literal and spiritual upon … heads—(Ps 126:2). Joy manifested in their countenances. Some fancy an allusionto the custom of pouring oil "upon the head," or wearing chaplets in times of public festivity (Ec9:8).CHAPTER 36Isa 36:1-22. Sennacherib's Invasion; Blasphemous Solicitations; Hezekiah Is Told of Them.This and the thirty-seventh through thirty-ninth chapters form the historical appendix closingthe first division of Isaiah's prophecies, and were added to make the parts of these referring toAssyria more intelligible. So Jer 52:1-34; compare 2Ki 25:1-30. The section occurs almost wordfor word (2Ki 18:13, 17-20; 19:1-37); 2Ki 18:14-16, however, is additional matter. Hezekiah's"writing" also is in Isaiah, not in Kings (Isa 38:9-20). We know from 2Ch 32:32 that Isaiah wrotethe acts of Hezekiah. It is, therefore, probable, that his record here (Isa 36:1-39:8) was incorporatedinto the Book of Kings by its compiler. Sennacherib lived, according to Assyrian inscriptions, morethan twenty years after his invasion; but as Isaiah survived Hezekiah (2Ch 32:32), who lived upwardsof fifteen years after the invasion (Isa 38:5), the record of Sennacherib's death (Isa 37:38) is noobjection to this section having come from Isaiah; 2Ch 32:1-33 is probably an abstract drawn fromIsaiah's account, as the chronicler himself implies (2Ch 32:32). Pul was probably the last of the olddynasty, and Sargon, a powerful satrap, who contrived to possess himself of supreme power andfound a new dynasty (see on Isa 20:1). No attempt was made by Judah to throw off the Assyrianyoke during his vigorous reign. The accession of his son Sennacherib was thought by Hezekiah theopportune time to refuse the long-paid tribute; Egypt and Ethiopia, to secure an ally against Assyriaon their Asiatic frontier, promised help; Isaiah, while opposed to submission to Assyria, advisedreliance on Jehovah, and not on Egypt, but his advice was disregarded, and so Sennacherib invadedJudea, 712 B.C. He was the builder of the largest of the excavated palaces, that of Koyunjik. Hinckshas deciphered his name in the inscriptions. In the third year of his reign, these state that he overranSyria, took Sidon and other Phoenician cities, and then passed to southwest Palestine, where hedefeated the Egyptians and Ethiopians (compare 2Ki 18:21; 19:9). His subsequent retreat, after hishost was destroyed by God, is of course suppressed in the inscriptions. But other particulars inscribedagree strikingly with the Bible; the capture of the "defensed cities of Judah," the devastation of thecountry and deportation of its inhabitants; the increased tribute imposed on Hezekiah—thirty talentsof gold—this exact number being given in both; the silver is set down in the inscriptions at eighthundred talents, in the Bible three hundred; the latter may have been the actual amount carried off,the larger sum may include the silver from the temple doors, pillars, &c. (2Ki 18:16).1151JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. fourteenth—the third of Sennacherib's reign. His ultimate object was Egypt, Hezekiah'sally. Hence he, with the great body of his army (2Ch 32:9), advanced towards the Egyptian frontier,in southwest Palestine, and did not approach Jerusalem.2. Rab-shakeh—In 2Ki 18:17, Tartan and Rab-saris are joined with him. Rab-shakeh wasprobably the chief leader; Rab is a title of authority, "chief-cup-bearer."Lachish—a frontier town southwest of Jerusalem, in Judah; represented as a great fortified cityin a hilly and fruitful country in the Koyunjik bas-reliefs, now in the British Museum; also, its nameis found on a slab over a figure of Sennacherib on his throne.upper pool—the side on which the Assyrians would approach Jerusalem coming from thesouthwest (see on Isa 7:3).3. Eliakim—successor to Shebna, who had been "over the household," that is, chief ministerof the king; in Isa 22:15-20, this was foretold.scribe—secretary, recorder—literally, "one who reminds"; a remembrancer to keep the kinginformed on important facts, and to act as historiographer. In 2Ki 18:18, the additional fact is giventhat the Assyrian envoys "called to the king," in consequence of which Eliakim, &c., "came out tothem."4. great king—the usual title of the Persian and Assyrian kings, as they had many subordinateprinces or kings under them over provinces (Isa 10:8).5. counsel—Egypt was famed for its wisdom.6. It was a similar alliance with So (that is, Sabacho, or else Sevechus), the Ethiopian king ofEgypt, which provoked the Assyrian to invade and destroy Israel, the northern kingdom, underHoshea.7. The Assyrian mistakes Hezekiah's religious reforms whereby he took away the high places(2Ki 18:4) as directed against Jehovah. Some of the high places may have been dedicated toJehovah, but worshipped under the form of an image in violation of the second commandment: the"brazen serpent," also (broken in pieces by Hezekiah, and called Nehushtan, "a piece of brass,"because it was worshipped by Israel) was originally set up by God's command. Hence the Assyrian'sallegation has a specious color: you cannot look for help from Jehovah, for your king has "takenaway His altars."to Jerusalem—(De 12:5, 11; Joh 4:20).8. give pledges—a taunting challenge. Only give the guarantee that you can supply as manyas two thousand riders, and I will give thee two thousand horses. But seeing that you have not eventhis small number (see on Isa 2:7), how can you stand against the hosts of Assyrian cavalry? TheJews tried to supply their weakness in this "arm" from Egypt (Isa 31:1).9. captain—a governor under a satrap; even he commands more horsemen than this.10. A boastful inference from the past successes of Assyria, designed to influence the Jews tosurrender; their own principles bound them to yield to Jehovah's will. He may have heard frompartisans in Judah what Isaiah had foretold (Isa 10:5, 6).11. Syrian—rather, "Aramean": the language spoken north and east of Palestine, and understoodby the Assyrians as belonging to the same family of languages as their own: nearly akin to Hebrewalso, though not intelligible to the multitude (compare 2Ki 5:5-7). "Aram" means a "high land,"and includes parts of Assyria as well as Syria.Jews' language—The men of Judah since the disruption of Israel, claimed the Hebrew as theirown peculiarly, as if they were now the only true representatives of the whole Hebrew twelve tribes.1152JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonears of … people on … wall—The interview is within hearing distance of the city. The peoplecrowd on the wall, curious to hear the Assyrian message. The Jewish rulers fear that it will terrifythe people and therefore beg Rab-shakeh to speak Aramean.12. Is it to thy master and thee that I am sent? Nay, it is to the men on the wall, to let them know(so far am I from wishing them not to hear, as you would wish), that unless they surrender, theyshall be reduced to the direst extremities of famine in the siege (2Ch 32:11, explains the word here),namely, to eat their own excrements: or, connecting, "that they may eat," &c., with "sit upon thewall"; who, as they hold the wall, are knowingly exposing themselves to the direst extremities[Maurer]. Isaiah, as a faithful historian, records the filthy and blasphemous language of the Assyriansto mark aright the true character of the attack on Jerusalem.13. Rab-shakeh speaks louder and plainer than ever to the men on the wall.15. The foes of God's people cannot succeed against them, unless they can shake their trust inHim (compare Isa 36:10).16. agreement … by … present—rather, "make peace with me"; literally, "blessing" so calledfrom the mutual congratulations attending the ratification of peace. So Chaldee. Or else, "Dohomage to me" [Horsley].come out—surrender to me; then you may remain in quiet possession of your lands till myreturn from Egypt, when I will lead you away to a land fruitful as your own. Rab-shakeh tries tosoften, in the eyes of the Jews, the well-known Assyrian policy of weakening the vanquished bydeporting them to other lands (Ge 47:21; 2Ki 17:6).19. Hamath … Arphad—(See on Isa 10:9).Sepharvaim—literally, "the two scribes"; now Sipphara, on the east of Euphrates, aboveBabylon. It was a just retribution (Pr 1:31; Jer 2:19). Israel worshipped the gods of Sepharvaim,and so colonists of Sepharvaim were planted in the land of Israel (thenceforth called Samaria) bythe Assyrian conqueror (2Ki 17:24; compare 2Ki 18:34).Samaria—Shalmaneser began the siege against Hoshea, because of his conspiring with So ofEgypt (2Ki 17:4). Sargon finished it; and, in his palace at Khorsabad, he has mentioned the numberof Israelites carried captive—27,280 [G. V. Smith].20. (Compare Isa 10:11; 2Ch 32:19). Here he contradicts his own assertion (Isa 36:10), that hehad "come up against the land with the Lord." Liars need good memories. He classes Jehovah withthe idols of the other lands; nay, thinks Him inferior in proportion as Judah, under His tutelage,was less than the lands under the tutelage of the idols.21. not a word—so as not to enter into a war of words with the blasphemer (Ex 14:14; Jude9).22. clothes rent—in grief and horror at the blasphemy (Mt 26:65).CHAPTER 37Isa 37:1-38. Continuation of the Narrative in the Thirty-sixth Chapter.1. sackcloth—(See on Isa 20:2).house of the Lord—the sure resort of God's people in distress (Ps 73:16, 17; 77:13).2. unto Isaiah—implying the importance of the prophet's position at the time; the chief officersof the court are deputed to wait on him (compare 2Ki 22:12-14).1153JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. rebuke—that is, the Lord's rebuke for His people's sins (Ps 149:7; Ho 5:9).blasphemy—blasphemous railing of Rab-shakeh.the children, &c.—a proverbial expression for, We are in the most extreme danger and haveno power to avert it (compare Ho 13:13).4. hear—take cognizance of (2Sa 16:12).reprove—will punish him for the words, &c. (Ps 50:21).remnant—the two tribes of the kingdom of Judah, Israel being already captive. Isaiah isentreated to act as intercessor with God.6. servants—literally, "youths," mere lads, implying disparagement, not an embassy of venerableelders. The Hebrew is different from that for "servants" in Isa 37:5.blasphemed me—(Isa 36:20).7. blast—rather, "I will put a spirit (Isa 28:6; 1Ki 22:23) into him," that is, so influence hisjudgment that when he hears the report (Isa 37:9, concerning Tirhakah), he shall return [Gesenius];the "report" also of the destruction of his army at Jerusalem, reaching Sennacherib, while he wasin the southwest of Palestine on the borders of Egypt, led him to the sword—(Isa 37:38).8. returned—to the camp of his master.Libnah—meaning "whiteness," the Blanche-garde of the Crusaders [Stanley]. Eusebius and Jeromeplace it more south, in the district of Eleutheropolis, ten miles northwest of Lachish, whichSennacherib had captured (see on Isa 36:2). Libnah was in Judea and given to the priests (1Ch 6:54,57).9. Tirhakah—(See on Isa 17:12; Isa 18:6). Egypt was in part governed by three successiveEthiopian monarchs, for forty or fifty years: Sabacho, Sevechus, and Tirhakah. Sevechus retiredfrom Lower Egypt owing to the resistance of the priests, whereupon Sethos, a prince-priest, obtainedsupreme power with Tanis (Zoan in Scripture), or Memphis, as his capital. The Ethiopians retainedUpper Egypt under Tirhakah, with Thebes as the capital. Tirhakah's fame as a conqueror rivalledthat of Sesostris; he, and one at least, of the Pharaohs of Lower Egypt, were Hezekiah's allies againstAssyria. The tidings of his approach made Sennacherib the more anxious to get possession ofJerusalem before his arrival.sent—2Ki 19:9 more fully expresses Sennacherib's eagerness by adding "again."10. He tries to influence Hezekiah himself, as Rab-shakeh had addressed the people.God … deceive—(Compare Nu 23:19).11. all lands—(Isa 14:17). He does not dare to enumerate Egypt in the list.12. Gozan—in Mesopotamia, on the Chabour (2Ki 17:6; 18:11). Gozan is the name of thedistrict, Chabour of the river.Haran—more to the west. Abraham removed to it from Ur (Ge 11:31); the Carroe of theRomans.Rezeph—farther west, in Syria.Eden—There is an ancient village, Adna, north of Baghdad. Some think Eden to be the nameof a region (of Mesopotamia or its vicinity) in which was Paradise; Paradise was not Eden itself(Ge 2:8). "A garden in Eden."Telassar—now Tel-afer, west of Mosul [Layard]. Tel means a "hill" in Arabic and Assyriannames.13. Hena … Ivah—in Babylonia. From Ava colonists had been brought to Samaria (2Ki 17:24).1154JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson14. spread—unrolled the scroll of writing. God "knows our necessities before we ask Him,"but He delights in our unfolding them to Him with filial confidence (2Ch 20:3, 11-13).16. dwellest—the Shekinah, or fiery symbol of God's presence, dwelling in the temple withHis people, is from shachan, "to dwell" (Ex 25:22; Ps 80:1; 99:1).cherubim—derived by transposition from either a Hebrew root, rachab, to "ride"; or rather,barach, to "bless." They were formed out of the same mass of pure gold as the mercy seat itself(Ex 25:19, Margin). The phrase, "dwellest between the cherubim," arose from their position at eachend of the mercy seat, while the Shekinah, and the awful name, Jehovah, in written letters, were inthe intervening space. They are so inseparably associated with the manifestation of God's glory,that whether the Lord is at rest or in motion, they always are mentioned with Him (Nu 7:89; Ps18:10). (1) They are first mentioned (Ge 3:24) "on the edge of" (as "on the east" may be translated)Eden; the Hebrew for "placed" is properly to "place in a tabernacle," which implies that this wasa local tabernacle in which the symbols of God's presence were manifested suitably to the alteredcircumstances in which man, after the fall, came before God. It was here that Cain and Abel, andthe patriarchs down to the flood, presented their offerings: and it is called "the presence of the Lord"(Ge 4:16). When those symbols were removed at the close of that early patriarchal dispensation,small models of them were made for domestic use, called, in Chaldee, "seraphim" or "teraphim."(2) The cherubim, in the Mosaic tabernacle and Solomon's temple, were the same in form as thoseat the outskirts of Eden: compound figures, combining the distinguishing properties of severalcreatures: the ox, chief among the tame and useful animals; the lion among the wild ones; the eagleamong birds; and man, the head of all (the original headship of man over the animal kingdom,about to be restored in Jesus Christ, Ps 8:4-8, is also implied in this combination). They are,throughout Scripture, represented as distinct from God; they could not be likenesses of Him whichHe forbade in any shape. (3) They are introduced in the third or gospel dispensation (Re 4:6) as"living creatures" (not so well translated "beasts" in English Version), not angels, but beings closelyconnected with the redeemed Church. So also in Eze 1:5-25; 10:1-22. Thus, throughout the threedispensations, they seem to be symbols of those who in every age should officially study andproclaim the manifold wisdom of God.thou alone—literally, "Thou art He who alone art God of all the kingdoms"; whereasSennacherib had classed Jehovah with the heathen gods, he asserts the nothingness of the latter andthe sole lordship of the former.17. ear … eyes—singular, plural. When we wish to hear a thing we lend one ear; when wewish to see a thing we open both eyes.18. have laid waste—conceding the truth of the Assyrian's allegation (Isa 36:18-20), but addingthe reason, "For they were no gods."19. cast … gods into … fire—The policy of the Assyrians in order to alienate the conqueredpeoples from their own countries was, both to deport them elsewhere, and to destroy the tutelaryidols of their nation, the strongest tie which bound them to their native land. The Roman policywas just the reverse.20. The strongest argument to plead before God in prayer, the honor of God (Ex 32:12-14; Ps83:18; Da 9:18, 19).21. Whereas thou hast prayed to me—that is, hast not relied on thy own strength but on Me(compare 2Ki 19:20). "That which thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib, I have heard" (Ps65:2).1155JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22. Transition to poetry: in … daughter—honorable terms. "Virgin" implies that the city is, as yet, inviolate."Daughter" is an abstract collective feminine personification of the population, the child of theplace denoted (see on Isa 23:10; Isa 1:8). Zion and her inhabitants.shaken … head—in scorn (Ps 22:7; 109:25; Mt 27:39). With us to shake the head is a sign ofdenial or displeasure; but gestures have different meanings in different countries (Isa 58:9; Eze25:6; Zep 2:15).23. Whom—not an idol.24. said—virtually. Hast thou within thyself?height—imagery from the Assyrian felling of trees in Lebanon (Isa 14:8; 33:9); figurativelyfor, "I have carried my victorious army through the regions most difficult of access, to the mostremote lands."sides—rather, "recesses" [G. V. Smith].fir trees—not cypresses, as some translate; pine foliage and cedars are still found on thenorthwest side of Lebanon [Stanley].height of … border—In 2Ki 19:23, "the lodgings of his borders." Perhaps on the ascent to thetop there was a place of repose or caravansary, which bounded the usual attempts of persons toascend [Barnes]. Here, simply, "its extreme height."forest of … Carmel—rather, "its thickest forest." "Carmel" expresses thick luxuriance (see onIsa 10:18; Isa 29:17).25. digged, and drunk water—In 2Ki 19:24, it is "strange waters." I have marched into foreignlands where I had to dig wells for the supply of my armies; even the natural destitution of waterthere did not impede my march.rivers of … besieged places—rather, "the streams (artificial canals from the Nile) of Egypt.""With the sole of my foot," expresses that as soon as his vast armies marched into a region, thestreams were drunk up by them; or rather, that the rivers proved no obstruction to the onward marchof his armies. So Isa 19:4-6, referring to Egypt, "the river—brooks of defense—shall be dried up."Horsley, translates the Hebrew for "besieged places," "rocks."26. Reply of God to Sennacherib.long ago—join, rather, with "I have done it." Thou dost boast that it is all by thy counsel andmight: but it is I who, long ago, have ordered it so (Isa 22:11); thou wert but the instrument in Myhands (Isa 10:5, 15). This was the reason why "the inhabitants were of small power before thee"(Isa 37:27), namely, that I ordered it so; yet thou art in My hands, and I know thy ways (Isa 37:28),and I will check thee (Isa 37:29). Connect also, "I from ancient times have arranged ('formed') it."However, English Version is supported by Isa 33:13; 45:6, 21; 48:5.27. Therefore—not because of thy power, but because I made them unable to withstand thee.grass—which easily withers (Isa 40:6; Ps 37:2).on … housetops—which having little earth to nourish it fades soonest (Ps 129:6-8).corn blasted before it be grown up—Smith translates, "The cornfield (frail and tender), beforethe corn is grown."28. abode—rather, "sitting down" (Ps 139:2). The expressions here describe a man's wholecourse of life (De 6:7; 28:6; 1Ki 3:7; Ps 121:8). There is also a special reference to Sennacherib'sfirst being at home, then going forth against Judah and Egypt, and raging against Jehovah (Isa37:4).1156JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson29. tumult—insolence.hook in … nose—Like a wild beast led by a ring through the nose, he shall be forced back tohis own country (compare Job 41:1, 2; Eze 19:4; 29:4; 38:4). In a bas-relief of Khorsabad, captivesare led before the king by a cord attached to a hook, or ring, passing through the under lip or theupper lip, and nose.30. Addressed to Hezekiah.sign—a token which, when fulfilled, would assure him of the truth of the whole prophecy asto the enemy's overthrow. The two years, in which they were sustained by the spontaneous growthof the earth, were the two in which Judea had been already ravaged by Sennacherib (Isa 32:10).Thus translate: "Ye did eat (the first year) such as groweth of itself, and in the second year that …but in this third year sow ye," &c., for in this year the land shall be delivered from the foe. Thefact that Sennacherib moved his camp away immediately after shows that the first two years referto the past, not to the future [Rosenmuller]. Others, referring the first two years to the future, get overthe difficulty of Sennacherib's speedy departure, by supposing that year to have been the sabbaticalyear, and the second year the jubilee; no indication of this appears in the context.31. remnant—Judah remained after the ten tribes were carried away; also those of Judah whoshould survive Sennacherib's invasion are meant.33. with shields—He did come near it, but was not allowed to conduct a proper—a mound to defend the assailants in attacking the walls.34. (See Isa 37:29, 37; Isa 29:5-8).35. I will defend—Notwithstanding Hezekiah's measures of defense (2Ch 32:3-5), Jehovahwas its true defender.mine own sake—since Jehovah's name was blasphemed by Sennacherib (Isa 37:23).David's sake—on account of His promise to David (Ps 132:17, 18), and to Messiah, the heirof David's throne (Isa 9:7; 11:1).36. Some attribute the destruction to the agency of the plague (see on Isa 33:24), which mayhave caused Hezekiah's sickness, narrated immediately after; but Isa 33:1, 4, proves that the Jewsspoiled the corpses, which they would not have dared to do, had there been on them infection of aplague. The secondary agency seems, from Isa 29:6; 30:30, to have been a storm of hail, thunder,and lightning (compare Ex 9:22-25). The simoon belongs rather to Africa and Arabia than Palestine,and ordinarily could not produce such a destructive effect. Some few of the army, as 2Ch 32:21seems to imply, survived and accompanied Sennacherib home. Herodotus (2.141) gives an accountconfirming Scripture in so far as the sudden discomfiture of the Assyrian army is concerned. TheEgyptian priests told him that Sennacherib was forced to retreat from Pelusium owing to a multitudeof field mice, sent by one of their gods, having gnawed the Assyrians' bow-strings and shield-straps.Compare the language (Isa 37:33), "He shall not shoot an arrow there, nor come before it withshields," which the Egyptians corrupted into their version of the story. Sennacherib was as the timewith a part of his army, not at Jerusalem, but on the Egyptian frontier, southwest of Palestine. Thesudden destruction of the host near Jerusalem, a considerable part of his whole army, as well asthe advance of the Ethiopian Tirhakah, induced him to retreat, which the Egyptians accounted forin a way honoring to their own gods. The mouse was the Egyptian emblem of destruction. TheGreek Apollo was called Sminthian, from a Cretan word for "a mouse," as a tutelary god ofagriculture, he was represented with one foot upon a mouse, since field mice hurt corn. The Assyrianinscriptions, of course, suppress their own defeat, but nowhere boast of having taken Jerusalem;1157JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand the only reason to be given for Sennacherib not having, amidst his many subsequent expeditionsrecorded in the monuments, returned to Judah, is the terrible calamity he had sustained there, whichconvinced him that Hezekiah was under the divine protection. Rawlinson says, In Sennacherib'saccount of his wars with Hezekiah, inscribed with cuneiform characters in the hall of the palace ofKoyunjik, built by him (a hundred forty feet long by a hundred twenty broad), wherein even theJewish physiognomy of the captives is portrayed, there occurs a remarkable passage; after hismentioning his taking two hundred thousand captive Jews, he adds, "Then I prayed unto God"; theonly instance of an inscription wherein the name of God occurs without a heathen adjunct. Theforty-sixth Psalm probably commemorates Judah's deliverance. It occurred in one "night," accordingto 2Ki 19:35, with which Isaiah's words, "when they arose early in the morning," &c., are inundesigned coincidence.they … they—"the Jews … the Assyrians."37. dwelt at Nineveh—for about twenty years after his disaster, according to the inscriptions.The word, "dwelt," is consistent with any indefinite length of time. "Nineveh," so called from Ninus,that is, Nimrod, its founder; his name means "exceedingly impious rebel"; he subverted the existingpatriarchal order of society, by setting up a system of chieftainship, founded on conquest; thehunting field was his training school for war; he was of the race of Ham, and transgressed the limitsmarked by God (Ge 10:8-11, 25), encroaching on Shem's portion; he abandoned Babel for a time,after the miraculous confusion of tongues and went and founded Nineveh; he was, after death,worshipped as Orion, the constellation (see on Job 9:9; Job 38:31).38. Nisroch—Nisr, in Semitic, means "eagle;" the termination och, means "great." Theeagle-headed human figure in Assyrian sculptures is no doubt Nisroch, the same as Asshur, thechief Assyrian god; the corresponding goddess was Asheera, or Astarte; this means a "grove," orsacred tree, often found as the symbol of the heavenly hosts (Saba) in the sculptures, as Asshur theEponymus hero of Assyria (Ge 10:11) answered to the sun or Baal, Belus, the title of office, "Lord."This explains "image of the grove" (2Ki 21:7). The eagle was worshipper by the ancient Persiansand Arabs.Esar-haddon—In Ezr 4:2 he is mentioned as having brought colonists into Samaria. He is alsothought to have been the king who carried Manasseh captive to Babylon (2Ch 33:11). He built thepalace on the mound Nebbiyunus, and that called the southwest palace of Nimroud. The latter wasdestroyed by fire, but his name and wars are recorded on the great bulls taken from the building.He obtained his building materials from the northwest palaces of the ancient dynasty, ending inPul.CHAPTER 38Isa 38:1-22. Hezekiah's Sickness; Perhaps Connected with the Plague or Blast Whereby the Assyrian Army HadBeen Destroyed.1. Set … house in order—Make arrangement as to the succession to the throne; for he hadthen no son; and as to thy other concerns.thou shall die—speaking according to the ordinary course of the disease. His being sparedfifteen years was not a change in God's mind, but an illustration of God's dealings beingunchangeably regulated by the state of man in relation to Him.1158JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. The couches in the East run along the walls of houses. He turned away from the spectatorsto hide his emotion and collect his thoughts for prayer.3. He mentions his past religious consistency, not as a boast or a ground for justification; butaccording to the Old Testament dispensation, wherein temporal rewards (as long life, &c., Ex 20:12)followed legal obedience, he makes his religious conduct a plea for asking the prolongation of hislife.walked—Life is a journey; the pious "walk with God" (Ge 5:24; 1Ki 9:4).perfect—sincere; not absolutely perfect, but aiming towards it (Mt 5:45); single-minded inwalking as in the presence of God (Ge 17:1). The letter of the Old Testament legal righteousnesswas, however, a standard very much below the spirit of the law as unfolded by Christ (Mt 5:20-48;2Co 3:6, 14, 17).wept sore—Josephus says, the reason why he wept so sorely was that being childless, he wasleaving the kingdom without a successor. How often our wishes, when gratified, prove curses!Hezekiah lived to have a son; that son was the idolater Manasseh, the chief cause of God's wrathagainst Judah, and of the overthrow of the kingdom (2Ki 23:26, 27).4. In 2Ki 20:4, the quickness of God's answer to the prayer is marked, "afore Isaiah had goneout into the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him"; that is, before he had left Hezekiah,or at least when he had just left him, and Hezekiah was in the act of praying after having heardGod's message by Isaiah (compare Isa 65:24; Ps 32:5; Da 9:21).5. God of David thy father—God remembers the covenant with the father to the children (Ex20:5; Ps 89:28, 29).tears—(Ps 56:8).days … years—Man's years, however many, are but as so many days (Ge 5:27).6. In 2Ki 20:8, after this verse comes the statement which is put at the end, in order not tointerrupt God's message (Isa 38:21, 22) by Isaiah (Isa 38:5-8).will deliver—The city was already delivered, but here assurance is given, that Hezekiah shallhave no more to fear from the Assyrians.7. sign—a token that God would fulfil His promise that Hezekiah should "go up into the houseof the Lord the third day" (2Ki 20:5, 8); the words in italics are not in Isaiah.8. bring again—cause to return (Jos 10:12-14). In 2Ki 20:9, 11, the choice is stated to havebeen given to Hezekiah, whether the shadow should go forward, or go back, ten degrees. Hezekiahreplied, "It is a light thing (a less decisive miracle) for the shadow to go down (its usual direction)ten degrees: nay, but let it return backward ten degrees"; so Isaiah cried to Jehovah that it shouldbe so, and it was so (compare Jos 10:12, 14).sundial of Ahaz—Herodotus (2.109) states that the sundial and the division of the day into twelvehours, were invented by the Babylonians; from them Ahaz borrowed the invention. He was one,from his connection with Tiglath-pileser, likely to have done so (2Ki 16:7, 10). "Shadow of thedegrees" means the shadow made on the degrees. Josephus thinks these degrees were steps ascendingto the palace of Ahaz; the time of day was indicated by the number of steps reached by the shadow.But probably a sundial, strictly so called, is meant; it was of such a size, and so placed, that Hezekiah,when convalescent, could witness the miracle from his chamber. Compare Isa 38:21, 22 with 2Ki20:9, where translate, shall this shadow go forward, &c.; the dial was no doubt in sight, probably"in the middle court" (2Ki 20:4), the point where Isaiah turned back to announce God's graciousanswers to Hezekiah. Hence this particular sign was given. The retrogression of the shadow may1159JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhave been effected by refraction; a cloud denser than the air interposing between the gnomon anddial would cause the phenomenon, which does not take from the miracle, for God gave him thechoice whether the shadow should go forward or back, and regulated the time and place. Bosanquetmakes the fourteenth year of Hezekiah to be 689 B.C., the known year of a solar eclipse, to whichhe ascribes the recession of the shadow. At all events, there is no need for supposing any revolutionof the relative positions of the sun and earth, but merely an effect produced on the shadow (2Ki20:9-11); that effect was only local, and designed for the satisfaction of Hezekiah, for the Babylonianastronomers and king "sent to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land" (2Ch 32:31),implying that it had not extended to their country. No mention of any instrument for marking timeoccurs before this dial of Ahaz, 700 B.C. The first mention of the "hour" is made by Daniel atBabylon (Da 3:6).9-20. The prayer and thanksgiving song of Hezekiah is only given here, not in the parallelpassages of Second Kings and Second Chronicles. Isa 38:9 is the heading or inscription.10. cutting off—Rosenmuller translates, "the meridian"; when the sun stands in the zenith: so"the perfect day" (Pr 4:18). Rather, "in the tranquillity of my days," that is, that period of life whenI might now look forward to a tranquil reign [Maurer]. The Hebrew is so translated (Isa 62:6, 7).go to—rather, "go into," as in Isa 46:2 [Maurer].residue of my years—those which I had calculated on. God sends sickness to teach man notto calculate on the morrow, but to live more wholly to God, as if each day were the last.11. Lord … Lord—The repetition, as in Isa 38:19, expresses the excited feeling of the king'smind.See the Lord (Jehovah)—figuratively for "to enjoy His good gifts." So, in a similar connection(Ps 27:13). "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of theliving"; (Ps 34:12), "What man is he that desireth life that he may see good?"world—rather, translate: "among the inhabitants of the land of stillness," that is, Hades [Maurer],in parallel antithesis to "the land of the living" in the first clause. The Hebrew comes from a root,to "rest" or "cease" (Job 14:6).12. age—rather, as the parallel "shepherd's tent" requires habitation, so the Arabic [Gesenius].departed—is broken up, or shifted, as a tent to a different locality. The same image occurs(2Co 5:1; 2Pe 1:12, 13). He plainly expects to exist, and not cease to be in another state; as theshepherd still lives, after he has struck his tent and removed elsewhere.I have cut off—He attributes to himself that which is God's will with respect to him; becausehe declares that will. So Jeremiah is said to "root out" kingdoms, because he declares God's purposeof doing so (Jer 1:10). The weaver cuts off his web from the loom when completed. Job 7:6 has alike image. The Greeks represented the Fates as spinning and cutting off the threads of each man'slife.he—God.with pining sickness—rather, "from the thrum," or thread, which tied the loom to the weaver'sbeam.from day … to night—that is, in the space of a single day between morning and night (Job4:20).13. I reckoned … that—rather, I composed (my mind, during the night, expecting relief in the"morning," so Job 7:4): for ("that" is not, as in the English Version, to be supplied) as a lion Hewas breaking all my bones [Vitringa] (Job 10:16; La 3:10, 11). The Hebrew, in Ps 131:2, is rendered,1160JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"I quieted." Or else, "I made myself like a lion (namely, in roaring, through pain), He was sobreaking my bones!" Poets often compare great groaning to a lion's roaring, so, Isa 38:14, hecompares his groans to the sounds of other animals (Ps 22:1) [Maurer].14. Rather, "Like a swallow, or a crane" (from a root; "to disturb the water," a bird frequentingthe water) [Maurer], (Jer 8:7).chatter—twitter: broken sounds expressive of pain.dove—called by the Arabs the daughter of mourning, from its plaintive note (Isa 59:11).looking upward—to God for relief.undertake for—literally, "be surety for" me; assure me that I shall be restored (Ps 119:122).15-20. The second part of the song passes from prayer to thanksgiving at the prayer being heard.What shall I say?—the language of one at a loss for words to express his sense of the unexpecteddeliverance.both spoken … and … done it—(Nu 23:19). Both promised and performed (1Th 5:24; Heb10:23).himself—No one else could have done it (Ps 98:1).go softly … in the bitterness—rather, "on account of the bitterness"; I will behave myselfhumbly in remembrance of my past sorrow and sickness from which I have been delivered by God'smercy (see 1Ki 21:27, 29). In Ps 42:4, the same Hebrew verb expresses the slow and solemn gaitof one going up to the house of God; it is found nowhere else, hence Rosenmuller explains it, "I willreverently attend the sacred festivals in the temple"; but this ellipsis would be harsh; rathermetaphorically the word is transferred to a calm, solemn, and submissive walk of life.16. by these—namely, by God's benefits, which are implied in the context (Isa 38:15, "He hathHimself done it" "unto me"). All "men live by these" benefits (Ps 104:27-30), "and in all these isthe life of my spirit," that is, I also live by them (De 8:3).and (wilt) make me to live—The Hebrew is imperative, "make me to live." In this view headds a prayer to the confident hope founded on his comparative convalescence, which he expressed,"Thou wilt recover me" [Maurer].17. for peace—instead of the prosperity which I had previously.great bitterness—literally, "bitterness to me, bitterness"; expressing intense love—literally, "attachment," such as joins one to another tenderly; "Thou hast been lovinglyattached to me from the pit"; pregnant phrase for, Thy love has gone down to the pit, and drawnme out from it. The "pit" is here simply death, in Hezekiah's sense; realized in its fulness only inreference to the soul's redemption from hell by Jesus Christ (Isa 61:1), who went down to the pitfor that purpose Himself (Ps 88:4-6; Zec 9:11, 12; Heb 13:20). "Sin" and sickness are connected(Ps 103:3; compare Isa 53:4, with Mt 8:17; 9:5, 6), especially under the Old Testament dispensationof temporal sanctions; but even now, sickness, though not invariably arising from sin in individuals,is connected with it in the general moral view.cast … behind back—consigned my sins to oblivion. The same phrase occurs (1Ki 14:9; Ne9:26; Ps 50:17). Contrast Ps 90:8, "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in thelight of thy countenance."18. death—that is, the dead; Hades and its inhabitants (Job 28:22; see on Isa 38:11). PlainlyHezekiah believed in a world of disembodied spirits; his language does not imply what skepticismhas drawn from it, but simply that he regarded the disembodied state as one incapable of declaringthe praises of God before men, for it is, as regards this world, an unseen land of stillness; "the1161JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonliving" alone can praise God on earth, in reference to which only he is speaking; Isa 57:1, 2 showsthat at this time the true view of the blessedness of the righteous dead was held, though not withthe full clearness of the Gospel, which "has brought life and immortality to light" (2Ti 1:10).hope for thy truth—(Ps 104:27). Their probation is at an end. They can no longer exercisefaith and hope in regard to Thy faithfulness to Thy promises, which are limited to the present state.For "hope" ceases (even in the case of the godly) when sight begins (Ro 8:24, 25); the ungodlyhave "no hope" (1Th 4:13). Hope in God's truth is one of the grounds of praise to God (Ps 71:14;119:49). Others translate, "cannot celebrate."19. living … living—emphatic repetition, as in Isa 38:11, 17; his heart is so full of the mainobject of his prayer that, for want of adequate words, he repeats the same word.father to the children—one generation of the living to another. He probably, also, hints at hisown desire to live until he should have a child, the successor to his throne, to whom he might makeknown and so perpetuate the memory of God's truth.truth—faithfulness to His promises; especially in Hezekiah's case, His promise of hearingprayer.20. was ready—not in the Hebrew; "Jehovah was for my salvation," that is, saved me (compareIsa 12:2).we—I and my the house of the Lord—This song was designed, as many of the other Psalms, as a form tobe used in public worship at stated times, perhaps on every anniversary of his recovery; hence "allthe days of our life."lump of figs—a round cake of figs pressed into a mass (1Sa 25:18). God works by means; themeanest of which He can make effectual.boil—inflamed ulcer, produced by the plague.22. house of the Lord—Hence he makes the praises to be sung there prominent in his song(Isa 38:20; Ps 116:12-14, 17-19).CHAPTER 39Isa 39:1-8. Hezekiah's Error in the Display of His Riches to the Babylonian Ambassador.1. Merodach-baladan—For a hundred fifty years before the overthrow of Nineveh by Cyaxaresthe Mede, a succession of rulers, mostly viceroys of Assyria, ruled Babylon, from the time ofNabonassar, 747 B.C. That date is called "the Era of Nabonassar." Pul or Phallukha was then expelled,and a new dynasty set up at Nineveh, under Tiglath-pileser. Semiramis, Pul's wife, then retired toBabylon, with Nabonassar, her son, whose advent to the throne of Babylon, after the overthrow ofthe old line at Nineveh, marked a new era. Sometimes the viceroys of Babylon made themselves,for a time, independent of Assyria; thus Merodach-baladan at this time did so, encouraged by theAssyrian disaster in the Jewish campaign. He had done so before, and was defeated in the first yearof Sennacherib's reign, as is recorded in cuneiform characters in that monarchs palace of Koyunjik.Nabopolassar was the first who established, permanently, his independence; his son, Nebuchadnezzar,raised Babylon to the position which Nineveh once occupied; but from the want of stone near theLower Euphrates, the buildings of Babylon, formed of sun-dried brick, have not stood the wear ofages as Nineveh has.1162JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonMerodach—an idol, the same as the god of war and planet Mars (Jer 50:2). Often kings tooktheir names from their gods, as if peculiarly under their tutelage. So Belshazzar from Bel.Baladan—means "Bel is his lord." The chronicle of Eusebius contains a fragment of Berosus,stating that Acises, an Assyrian viceroy, usurped the supreme command at Babylon. Merodach-(or Berodach-) baladan murdered him and succeeded to the throne. Sennacherib conqueredMerodach-baladan and left Esar-haddon, his son, as governor of Babylon. Merodach-baladan wouldnaturally court the alliance of Hezekiah, who, like himself, had thrown off the yoke of the Assyrianking, and who would be equally glad of the Babylonian alliance against Assyria; hence arose theexcessive attention which he paid to the usurper.sick—An additional reason is given (2Ch 32:31). "The princes of Babylon sent to enquire ofthe wonder that was done in the land"; namely, the recession of the shadow on Ahaz' sundial; tothe Chaldean astronomers, such a fact would be especially interesting, the dial having been inventedat Babylon.2. glad—It was not the mere act, but the spirit of it, which provoked God (2Ch 32:25), "Hezekiahrendered not again according to the benefit done unto him, for his heart was lifted up"; also compare2Ch 32:31. God "tries" His people at different times by different ways, bringing out "all that is intheir heart," to show them its varied corruptions. Compare David in a similar case (1Ch 21:1-8).precious things—rather, "the house of his (aromatic) spices"; from a Hebrew root, to "breakto pieces," as is done to aromatics.silver … gold—partly obtained from the Assyrian camp (Isa 33:4); partly from presents (2Ch32:23, 27-29).precious ointment—used for anointing kings and priests.armour—or else vessels in general; the parallel passage (2Ch 32:27), "treasuries … for shields,"favors English Version. His arsenal.3. What … whence—implying that any proposition coming from the idolatrous enemies ofGod, with whom Israel was forbidden to form alliance, should have been received with anythingbut gladness. Reliance on Babylon, rather than on God, was a similar sin to the previous relianceon Egypt (Isa 30:1-31:9).far country—implying that he had done nothing more than was proper in showing attentionto strangers "from a far country."4. All—a frank confession of his whole fault; the king submits his conduct to the scrutiny of asubject, because that subject was accredited by God. Contrast Asa (2Ch 16:7-10).5. Lord of hosts—who has all thy goods at His disposal.6. days come—one hundred twenty years afterwards. This is the first intimation that the Jewswould be carried to Babylon—the first designation of their place of punishment. The generalprophecy of Moses (Le 26:33; De 28:64); the more particular one of Ahijah in Jeroboam's time(1Ki 14:15), "beyond the river"; and of Am 5:27, "captivity beyond Damascus"; are now concentratedin this specific one as to "Babylon" (Mic 4:10). It was an exact retribution in kind, that as Babylonhad been the instrument of Hezekiah and Judah's sin, so also it should be the instrument of theirpunishment.7. sons … from thee—The sons which Hezekiah (as Josephus tells us) wished to have (see onIsa 28:3, on "wept sore") will be among the foremost in suffering.eunuchs—fulfilled (Da 1:2, 3, 7).1163JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. peace … in my days—The punishment was not, as in David's case (2Sa 24:13-15), sent inhis time. True repentance acquiesces in all God's ways and finds cause of thanksgiving in anymitigation.CHAPTER 40Isa 40:1-31. Second Part of the Prophecies of Isaiah.The former were local and temporary in their reference. These belong to the distant future, andare world-wide in their interest; the deliverance from Babylon under Cyrus, which he here foretellsby prophetic suggestion, carries him on to the greater deliverance under Messiah, the Saviour ofJews and Gentiles in the present eclectic Church, and the restorer of Israel and Head of theworld-wide kingdom, literal and spiritual, ultimately. As Assyria was the hostile world power inthe former part, which refers to Isaiah's own time, so Babylon is so in the latter part, which refersto a period long subsequent. The connecting link, however, is furnished (Isa 39:6) at the close ofthe former part. The latter part was written in the old age of Isaiah, as appears from the greatermellowness of style and tone which pervades it; it is less fiery and more tender and gentle than theformer part.1. Comfort ye, comfort ye—twice repeated to give double assurance. Having announced thecoming captivity of the Jews in Babylon, God now desires His servants, the prophets (Isa 52:7), tocomfort them. The scene is laid in Babylon; the time, near the close of the captivity; the ground ofcomfort is the speedy ending of the captivity, the Lord Himself being their people … your God—correlatives (Jer 31:33; Ho 1:9, 10). It is God's covenant relationwith His people, and His "word" of promise (Isa 40:8) to their forefathers, which is the ground ofHis interposition in their behalf, after having for a time chastised them (Isa 54:8).2. comfortably—literally, "to the heart"; not merely to the intellect.Jerusalem—Jerusalem though then in ruins, regarded by God as about to be rebuilt; her peopleare chiefly meant, but the city is personified.cry—publicly and emphatically as a herald cries aloud (Isa 40:3).warfare—or, the appointed time of her misery (Job 7:1, Margin; Job 14:14; Da 10:1). Theulterior and Messianic reference probably is the definite time when the legal economy of burdensomerites is at an end (Ga 4:3, 4).pardoned—The Hebrew expresses that her iniquity is so expiated that God now delights inrestoring her.double for all her sins—This can only, in a very restricted sense, hold good of Judah'srestoration after the first captivity. For how can it be said her "warfare was accomplished," whenas yet the galling yoke of Antiochus and also of Rome was before them? The "double for her sins"must refer to the twofold captivity, the Assyrian and the Roman; at the coming close of this latterdispersion, and then only, can her "iniquity" be said to be "pardoned," or fully expiated [Houbigant].It does not mean double as much as she deserved, but ample punishment in her twofold captivity.Messiah is the antitypical Israel (compare Mt 2:15, with Ho 11:1). He indeed has "received" ofsufferings amply more than enough to expiate "for our sins" (Ro 5:15, 17). Otherwise (cry untoher) "that she shall receive (blessings) of the Lord's hand double to the punishment of all her sins"(so "sin" is used, Zec 14:19, Margin) [Lowth]. The English Version is simpler.1164JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. crieth in the wilderness—So the Septuagint and Mt 3:3 connect the words. The Hebrewaccents, however, connect them thus: "In the wilderness prepare ye," &c., and the parallelism alsorequires this, "Prepare ye in the wilderness," answering to "make straight in the desert." Matthewwas entitled, as under inspiration, to vary the connection, so as to bring out another sense, includedin the Holy Spirit's intention; in Mt 3:1, "John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness," answersthus to "The voice of one crying in the wilderness." Maurer takes the participle as put for the finiteverb (so in Isa 40:6), "A voice crieth." The clause, "in the wilderness," alludes to Israel's passagethrough it from Egypt to Canaan (Ps 68:7), Jehovah being their leader; so it shall be at the comingrestoration of Israel, of which the restoration from Babylon was but a type (not the full realization;for their way from it was not through the "wilderness"). Where John preached (namely, in thewilderness; the type of this earth, a moral wilderness), there were the hearers who are ordered toprepare the way of the Lord, and there was to be the coming of the Lord [Bengel]. John, though hewas immediately followed by the suffering Messiah, is rather the herald of the coming reigningMessiah, as Mal 4:5, 6 ("before the great and dreadful day of the Lord"), proves. Mt 17:11 (compareAc 3:21) implies that John is not exclusively meant; and that though in one sense Elias has come,in another he is yet to come. John was the figurative Elias, coming "in the spirit and power of Elias"(Lu 1:17); Joh 1:21, where John the Baptist denies that he was the actual Elias, accords with thisview. Mal 4:5, 6 cannot have received its exhaustive fulfilment in John; the Jews always understoodit of the literal Elijah. As there is another consummating advent of Messiah Himself, so perhapsthere is to be of his forerunner Elias, who also was present at the transfiguration.the Lord—Hebrew, Jehovah; as this is applied to Jesus, He must be Jehovah (Mt 3:3).4. Eastern monarchs send heralds before them in a journey to clear away obstacles, makecauseways over valleys, and level hills. So John's duty was to bring back the people to obedienceto the law and to remove all self-confidence, pride in national privileges, hypocrisy, and irreligion,so that they should be ready for His coming (Mal 4:6; Lu 1:17).crooked—declivities.5. see it—The Septuagint for "it," has "the salvation of God." So Lu 3:6 (compare Lu 2:30, thatis, Messiah); but the Evangelist probably took these words from Isa 52:10.for—rather, "All flesh shall see that the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it" [Bengel].6. The voice—the same divine herald as in Isa 40:3.he—one of those ministers or prophets (see on Isa 40:1) whose duty it was, by direction of "thevoice," to "comfort the Lord's afflicted people with the promises of brighter days."All flesh is grass—The connection is, "All human things, however goodly, are transitory: God'spromises alone steadfast" (Isa 40:8, 15, 17, 23, 24); this contrast was already suggested in Isa 40:5,"All flesh … the mouth of the Lord." 1Pe 1:24, 25 applies this passage distinctly to the gospel wordof Messiah (compare Joh 12:24; Jas 1:10).7. spirit of the Lord—rather, "wind of Jehovah" (Ps 103:16). The withering east wind of thosecountries sent by Jehovah (Jon 4:8).the people—rather, "this people" [Lowth], which may refer to the Babylonians [Rosenmuller]; butbetter, mankind in general, as in Isa 42:5, so Isa 40:6, "all flesh"; this whole race, that is, man.9. Rather, "Oh, thou that bringest good things to Zion; thou that bringest good tidings toJerusalem." "Thou" is thus the collective personification of the messengers who announce God'sgracious purpose to Zion (see on Isa 40:1); Isa 52:7 confirms this [Vulgate and Gesenius]. If EnglishVersion be retained, the sense will be the glad message was first to be proclaimed to Jerusalem,1165JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand then from it as the center to all "Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth" (Lu 24:47,49; Ac 1:8) [Vitringa and Hengstenberg].mountain—It was customary for those who were about to promulgate any great thing, to ascenda hill from which they could be seen and heard by all (Jud 9:7; Mt 5:1).be not afraid—to announce to the exiles that their coming return home is attended with dangerin the midst of the Babylonians. The gospel minister must "open his mouth boldly" (Pr 29:25; Eph6:19).Behold—especially at His second coming (Zec 12:10; 14:5).10. with strong hand—or, "against the strong"; rather, "as a strong one" [Maurer]. Or, againstthe strong one, namely, Satan (Mt 12:29; Re 20:2, 3, 10) [Vitringa].arm—power (Ps 89:13; 98:1).for him—that is, He needs not to seek help for Himself from any external source, but by Hisown inherent power He gains rule for Himself (so Isa 40:14).work—or, "recompense for his work"; rather, "recompense which He gives for work" (Isa62:11; Re 22:12).11. feed—including all a shepherd's care—"tend" (Eze 34:23; Ps 23:1; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25).carry—applicable to Messiah's restoration of Israel, as sheep scattered in all lands, and unableto move of themselves to their own land (Ps 80:1; Jer 23:3). As Israel was "carried from the womb"(that is, in its earliest days) (Isa 63:9, 11, 12; Ps 77:20), so it shall be in "old age" (that is, its latterdays) (Isa 46:3, 4).gently lead—as a thoughtful shepherd does the ewes "giving suck" (Margin) (Ge 33:13, 14).12. Lest the Jews should suppose that He who was just before described as a "shepherd" is amere man, He is now described as God.Who—Who else but God could do so? Therefore, though the redemption and restoration of Hispeople, foretold here, was a work beyond man's power, they should not doubt its fulfilment sinceall things are possible to Him who can accurately regulate the proportion of the waters as if Hehad measured them with His hand (compare Isa 40:15). But Maurer translates: "Who can measure,"&c., that is, How immeasurable are the works of God? The former is a better explanation (Job28:25; Pr 30:4).span—the space from the end of the thumb to the end of the middle finger extended; Godmeasures the vast heavens as one would measure a small object with his span.dust of the earth—All the earth is to Him but as a few grains of dust contained in a smallmeasure (literally, "the third part of a larger measure").hills in a balance—adjusted in their right proportions and places, as exactly as if He had weighedthem out.13. Quoted in Ro 11:34; 1Co 2:16. The Hebrew here for "directed" is the same as in Isa 40:12for "meted out"; thus the sense is, "Jehovah measures out heaven with His span"; but who canmeasure Him? that is, Who can search out His Spirit (mind) wherewith He searches out andaccurately adjusts all things? Maurer rightly takes the Hebrew in the same sense as in Isa 40:12 (soPr 16:2; 21:2), "weigh," "ponder." "Direct," as in English Version, answers, however, better to"taught" in the parallel clause.14. path of judgment—His wisdom, whereby He so beautifully adjusts the places andproportions of all created things.15. of—rather, (hanging) from a bucket [Maurer].1166JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhe taketh up … as a very little thing—rather, "are as a mere grain of dust which is taken up,"namely, by the wind; literally, "one taketh up," impersonally (Ex 16:14) [Maurer].isles—rather, "lands" in general, answering to "the nations" in the parallel clause; perhaps lands,like Mesopotamia, enclosed by rivers [Jerome] (so Isa 42:15). However, English Version, "isles"answers well to "mountains" (Isa 40:12), both alike being lifted up by the power of God; in fact,"isles" are mountains upheaved from the bed of the sea by volcanic agency; only that he seemshere to have passed from unintelligent creatures (Isa 40:12) to intelligent, as nations and lands, thatis, their inhabitants.16. All Lebanon's forest would not supply fuel enough to burn sacrifices worthy of the gloryof God (Isa 66:1; 1Ki 8:27; Ps 50:8-13).beasts—which abounded in Lebanon.17. (Ps 62:9; Da 4:35).less than nothing—Maurer translates, as in Isa 41:24, "of nothing" (partitively; or expressiveof the nature of a thing), a mere nothing.vanity—emptiness.18. Which of the heathen idols, then, is to be compared to this Almighty God? This passage, ifnot written (as Barnes thinks) so late as the idolatrous times of Manasseh, has at least a prospectivewarning reference to them and subsequent reigns; the result of the chastisement of Jewish idolatryin the Babylonish captivity was that thenceforth after the restoration the Jews never fell into it.Perhaps these prophecies here may have tended to that result (see 2Ki 23:26, 27).19. graven—rather, an image in general; for it is incongruous to say "melteth" (that is, castsout of metal) a graven image (that is, one of carved wood); so Jer 10:14, "molten image."spreadeth it over—(See on Isa 30:22).chains—an ornament lavishly worn by rich Orientals (Isa 3:18, 19), and so transferred to theiridols. Egyptian relics show that idols were suspended in houses by chains.20. impoverished—literally, "sunk" in oblation—he who cannot afford to overlay his idol with gold and silver (Isa 40:19).tree … not rot—the cedar, cypress, oak, or ash (Isa 44:14).graven—of wood; not a molten one of metal.not be moved—that shall be durable.21. ye—who worship idols. The question emphatically implies, they had known.from the beginning—(Isa 41:4, 26; 48:16). God is the beginning (Re 1:8). The tradition handeddown from the very first, of the creation of all things by God at the beginning, ought to convinceyou of His omnipotence and of the folly of idolatry.22. It is he—rather, connected with last verse, "Have ye not known?"—have ye not understoodHim that sitteth …? (Isa 40:26) [Maurer].circle—applicable to the globular form of the earth, above which, and the vault of sky aroundit, He sits. For "upon" translate "above."as grasshoppers—or locusts in His sight (Nu 13:33), as He looks down from on high (Ps 33:13,14; 113:4-6).curtain—referring to the awning which the Orientals draw over the open court in the center oftheir houses as a shelter in rain or hot weather.23. (Ps 107:4; Da 2:21).1167JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjudges—that is, rulers; for these exercised judicial authority (Ps 2:10). The Hebrew, shophtee,answers to the Carthaginian chief magistrates, suffetes.24. they—the "princes and judges" (Isa 40:23) who oppose God's purposes and God's people.Often compared to tall trees (Ps 37:35; Da 4:10).not … sown—the seed, that is, race shall become extinct (Na 1:14).stock—not even shall any shoots spring up from the stump when the tree has been cut down:no descendants whatever (Job 14:7; see on Isa 11:1).and … also—so the Septuagint. But Maurer translates, "They are hardly (literally, 'not yet', asin 2Ki 20:4) planted (&c.) when He (God) blows upon them."blow—The image is from the hot east wind (simoon) that "withers" vegetation.whirlwind … stubble—(Ps 83:13), where, "like a wheel," refers to the rotatory action of thewhirlwind on the stubble.25. (Compare Isa 40:18).26. bringeth out … host—image from a general reviewing his army: He is Lord of Sabaoth,the heavenly hosts (Job 38:32).calleth … by names—numerous as the stars are. God knows each in all its distinguishingcharacteristics—a sense which "name" often bears in Scripture; so in Ge 2:19, 20, Adam, as God'svicegerent, called the beasts by name, that is, characterized them by their several qualities, which,indeed, He has the greatness … faileth—rather, "by reason of abundance of (their inner essential) forceand firmness of strength, not one of them is driven astray"; referring to the sufficiency of thephysical forces with which He has endowed the heavenly bodies, to prevent all disorder in theirmotions [Horsley]. In English Version the sense is, "He has endowed them with their peculiar attributes('names') by the greatness of His might," and the power of His strength (the better rendering, insteadof, "for that He is strong").27. Since these things are so, thou hast no reason to think that thine interest ("way," that is,condition, Ps 37:5; Jer 12:1) is disregarded by God.judgment is passed over from—rather, "My cause is neglected by my God; He passes by mycase in my bondage and distress without noticing it."my God—who especially might be expected to care for me.28. known—by thine own observation and reading of Scripture.heard—from tradition of the fathers.everlasting, &c.—These attributes of Jehovah ought to inspire His afflicted people searching of his understanding—therefore thy cause cannot, as thou sayest, escape Hisnotice; though much in His ways is unsearchable, He cannot err (Job 11:7-9). He is never "faint"or "weary" with having the countless wants of His people ever before Him to attend to.29. Not only does He "not faint" (Isa 40:28) but He gives power to them who do might … increaseth strength—a seeming paradox. They "have no might" in themselves;but in Him they have strength, and He "increases" that strength (2Co 12:9).30. young men—literally, "those selected"; men picked out on account of their youthful vigorfor an enterprise.31. mount up—(2Sa 1:23). Rather, "They shall put forth fresh feathers as eagles" are said torenovate themselves; the parallel clause, "renew their strength," confirms this. The eagle was thought1168JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto moult and renew his feathers, and with them his strength, in old age (so the Septuagint, Vulgate,Ps 103:5). However, English Version is favored by the descending climax, mount up—run—walk;in every attitude the praying, waiting child of God is "strong in the Lord" (Ps 84:7; Mic 4:5; Heb12:1).CHAPTER 41Isa 41:1-29. Additional Reasons Why the Jews Should Place Confidence in God's Promises of Delivering Them;He Will Raise Up a Prince as Their Deliverer, Whereas the Idols Could Not Deliver the Heathen Nations from That Prince.1. (Zec 2:13). God is about to argue the case; therefore let the nations listen in reverential silence.Compare Ge 28:16, 17, as to the spirit in which we ought to behave before God.before me—rather (turning), "towards me" [Maurer].islands—including all regions beyond sea (Jer 25:22), maritime regions, not merely isles inthe strict sense.renew … strength—Let them gather their strength for the argument; let them adduce theirstrongest arguments (compare Isa 1:18; Job 9:32). "Judgment" means here, to decide the point atissue between us.2. Who—else but God? The fact that God "raiseth up" Cyrus and qualifies him for becomingthe conqueror of the nations and deliverer of God's people, is a strong argument why they shouldtrust in Him. The future is here prophetically represented as present or past.the righteous man—Cyrus; as Isa 44:28; 45:1-4, 13; 46:11, "from the East," prove. Called"righteous," not so much on account of his own equity [Herodotus, 3.89], as because he fulfilledGod's righteous will in restoring the Jews from their unjust captivity. Raised him up in righteousness.The Septuagint takes the Hebrew as a noun "righteousness." Maurer translates, "Who raised up himwhom salvation (national and temporal, the gift of God's 'righteousness' to the good, Isa 32:17;compare Isa 45:8; 51:5) meets at his foot" (that is, wherever he goes). Cyrus is said to come fromthe East, because Persia is east of Babylon; but in Isa 41:25, from the north, in reference to Media.At the same time the full sense of righteousness, or righteous, and of the whole passage, is realizedonly in Messiah, Cyrus' antitype (Cyrus knew not God, Isa 45:4). He goes forth as the UniversalConqueror of the "nations," in righteousness making war (Ps 2:8, 9; Re 19:11-15; 6:2; 2:26, 27)."The idols He shall utterly abolish" (compare Isa 7:23, with Isa 2:18). Righteousness was alwaysraised up from the East. Paradise was east of Eden. The cherubim were at the east of the garden.Abraham was called from the East. Judea, the birthplace of Messiah, was in the East.called … to … foot—called him to attend His (God's) steps, that is, follow His guidance. InEzr 1:2, Cyrus acknowledges Jehovah as the Giver of his victories. He subdued the nations fromthe Euxine to the Red Sea, and even Egypt (says Xenophon).dust—(Isa 17:13; 29:5; Ps 18:42). Persia, Cyrus' country, was famed for the use of the "bow"(Isa 22:6). "Before him" means "gave them into his power" (Jos 10:12). Maurer translates, "Gavehis (the enemy's) sword to be dust, and his (the enemy's) bow to be as stubble" (Job 41:26, 29).3. Cyrus had not visited the regions of the Euphrates and westward until he visited them forconquest. So the gospel conquests penetrated regions where the name of God was unknown before.4. Who—else but God?1169JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncalling … generations from … beginning—The origin and position of all nations are fromGod (De 32:8; Ac 17:26); what is true of Cyrus and his conquests is true of all the movements ofhistory from the first; all are from God.with the last—that is, the last (Isa 44:6; 48:12).5. feared—that they would be subdued.drew near, and came—together, for mutual defense.6. Be of good courage—Be not alarmed because of Cyrus, but make new images to secure thefavor of the gods against him.7. One workman encourages the other to be quick in finishing the idol, so as to avert theimpending danger.nails—to keep it steady in its place. Wisdom 13:15, 16, gives a similar picture of the folly ofidolatry.8. Contrast between the idolatrous nations whom God will destroy by Cyrus, and Israel whomGod will deliver by the same man for their forefathers' sake.servant—so termed as being chosen by God to worship Him themselves, and to lead otherpeoples to do the same (Isa 45:4).Jacob … chosen—(Ps 135:4).my friend—literally, "loving me."9. Abraham, the father of the Jews, taken from the remote Ur of the Chaldees. Others take it ofIsrael, called out of Egypt (De 4:37; Ho 11:1).from the chief men—literally, "the elbows"; so the joints; hence the root which joins the treeto the earth; figuratively, those of ancient and noble stock. But the parallel clause "ends of the earth"favors Gesenius, who translates, "the extremities of the earth"; so Jerome.10. be not dismayed—literally, anxiously to look at one another in dismay.right hand of my righteousness—that is, My right hand prepared in accordance with Myrighteousness (faithfulness to My promises) to uphold thee.11. ashamed—put to the shame of defeat (compare Isa 54:17; Ro 9:33).12. seek … and … not find—said of one so utterly put out of the way that not a trace of himcan be found (Ps 37:36).thing of naught—shall utterly perish.13. (De 33:26, 29).14. worm—in a state of contempt and affliction, whom all loathe and tread on, the veryexpression which Messiah, on the cross, applies to Himself (Ps 22:6), so completely are the Lordand His people identified and assimilated. God's people are as 'worms' in humble thoughts ofthemselves, and in their enemies' haughty thoughts of them; worms, but not vipers, or of the serpent'sseed." [Henry].men—The parallelism requires the word "men" here to have associated with it the idea offewness or feebleness. Lowth translates, "Ye mortals of Israel." The Septuagint, "altogetherdiminutive." Maurer supports English Version, which the Hebrew text best accords with.the Lord—in general.and thy redeemer—in particular; a still stronger reason why He should "help" them.15. God will make Israel to destroy their enemies as the Eastern corn-drag (Isa 28:27, 28) bruisesout the grain with its teeth, and gives the chaff to the winds to scatter.teeth—serrated, so as to cut up the straw for fodder and separate the grain from the chaff.1170JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmountains … hills—kingdoms more or less powerful that were hostile to Israel (Isa 2:14).16. fan—winnowed (compare Mt 3:12).whirlwind … scatter them—(Job 27:21; 30:22).17. poor and needy—primarily, the exiles in Babylon.water—figuratively, refreshment, prosperity after their affliction. The language is so constructedas only very partially to apply to the local and temporary event of the restoration from Babylon;but fully to be realized in the waters of life and of the Spirit, under the Gospel (Isa 30:25; 44:3; Joh7:37-39; 4:14). God wrought no miracles that we read of, in any wilderness, during the return fromBabylon.faileth—rather, "is rigid" or parched [Horsley].18. Alluding to the waters with which Israel was miraculously supplied in the desert after havingcome out of Egypt.high places—bare of trees, barren, and unwatered (Jer 4:11; 14:6). "High places … valleys"spiritually express that in all circumstances, whether elevated or depressed, God's people will haverefreshment for their souls, however little to be expected it might seem.19. (Isa 32:15; 55:13).shittah—rather, the "acacia," or Egyptian thorn, from which the gum Arabic is obtained [Lowth].oil tree—the olive.fir tree—rather, the "cypress": grateful by its shade.pine—Gesenius translates, "the holm."box tree—not the shrub used for bordering flower beds, but [Gesenius] a kind of cedar, remarkablefor the smallness of its cones, and the upward direction of its branches.20. consider—literally, "lay it (to heart)"; turn (their attention) to it. "They" refers to all lands(Isa 41:1; Ps 64:9; 40:3). The effect on the Gentiles of God's open interposition hereafter in behalfof Israel shall be, they shall seek Israel's God (Isa 2:3; Zec 8:21-23).21. A new challenge to the idolaters (see Isa 41:1, 7) to say, can their idols predict future eventsas Jehovah can (Isa 41:22-25, &c.)?your strong reasons—the reasons for idol-worship which you think especially strong.22. what shall happen—"Let them bring near and declare future contingencies" [Horsley].former things … the latter end of them—show what former predictions the idols have given,that we may compare the event ("latter end") with them; or give new prophecies ("declare thingsto come") (Isa 42:9), [Maurer]. Barnes explains it more reconditely, "Let them foretell the entire seriesof events, showing, in their order, the things which shall first occur, as well as those which shallfinally happen"; the false prophets tried to predict isolated events, having no mutual dependency;not a long series of events mutually and orderly connected, and stretching far into futurity. Theydid not even try to do this. None but God can do it (Isa 46:10; 44:7, 8). "Or … things to come" will,in this view, mean, Let them, if they cannot predict the series, even predict plainly any detachedevents.23. do good … evil—give any proof at all of your power, either to reward your friends or punishyour enemies (Ps 115:2-8).that we may be dismayed, and behold it together—Maurer translates, "That we (Jehovah andthe idols) may look one another in the face (that is, encounter one another, 2Ki 14:8, 11), and see"our respective powers by a trial. Horsley translates, "Then the moment we behold, we shall bedismayed." "We" thus, and in English Version, refers to Jehovah and His worshippers.1171JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson24. of nothing—(See on Isa 40:17). The Hebrew text is here corrupt; so English Version treatsit.abomination—abstract for concrete: not merely abominable, but the essence of whatever isso (De 18:12).chooseth you—as an object of worship.25. raised up—in purpose: not fulfilled till a hundred fifty years afterwards.north—In Isa 41:2, "from the East"; both are true: see the note … my name—acknowledge Me as God, and attribute his success to Me; this he did in theproclamation (Ezr 1:2). This does not necessarily imply that Cyrus renounced idolatry, but hearingof Isaiah's prophecy given a hundred fifty years before, so fully realized in his own acts, herecognized God as the true God, but retained his idol (so Naaman, 2Ki 5:1-27; compare 2Ki 17:33,41; Da 3:28; 4:1-3, 34-37).princes—the Babylonian satraps or governors of provinces.mortar—"mire"; He shall tread them under foot as dirt (Isa 10:6).26. Who—of the idolatrous soothsayers? When this prophecy shall be fulfilled, all shall seethat God foretold as to Cyrus, which none of the soothsayers have.beforetime—before the event occurred.He is righteous—rather, "It is true"; it was a true prophecy, as the event shows. "He is righteous,"in English Version, must be interpreted, The fulfilment of the idol's words proves that he is faithful.showeth, &c.—rather, "there was none (of the soothsayers) that showed … declared—no onehas heard your words" foretelling the event.27. Rather, "I first will give to Zion and to Jerusalem the messenger of good tidings, Behold,behold them!" The clause, "Behold … them" (the wished-for event is now present) is inserted inthe middle of the sentence as a detached exclamation, by an elegant transposition, the languagebeing framed abruptly, as one would speak in putting vividly as it were, before the eyes of others,some joyous event which he had just learned [Ludovicus De Dieu] (compare Isa 40:9). None of theidols had foretold these events. Jehovah was the "first" to do so (see Isa 41:4).28. no counsellor—no one of the idolatrous soothsayers who could inform (Nu 24:14) thosewho consulted them what would take place. Compare "counsel of His messenger" (Isa 44:26).when I asked—that is, challenged them, in this chapter.29. confusion—"emptiness" [Barnes].CHAPTER 42Isa 42:1-25. Messiah the Antitype of Cyrus.God's description of His character (Isa 42:1-4). God addresses Him directly (Isa 42:5-7). Addressto the people to attend to the subject (Isa 42:8, 9). Call to all, and especially the exile Jews to rejoicein the coming deliverance (Isa 42:10-25).1. my servant—The law of prophetic suggestion leads Isaiah from Cyrus to the far greaterDeliverer, behind whom the former is lost sight of. The express quotation in Mt 12:18-20, and thedescription can apply to Messiah alone (Ps 40:6; with which compare Ex 21:6; Joh 6:38; Php 2:7).Israel, also, in its highest ideal, is called the "servant" of God (Isa 49:3). But this ideal is realized1172JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesononly in the antitypical Israel, its representative-man and Head, Messiah (compare Mt 2:15, withHo 11:1). "Servant" was the position assumed by the Son of God throughout His humiliation.elect—chosen by God before the foundation of the world for an atonement (1Pe 1:20; Re 13:8).Redemption was no afterthought to remedy an unforeseen evil (Ro 16:25, 26; Eph 3:9, 11; 2Ti 1:9,10; Tit 1:2, 3). In Mt 12:18 it is rendered "My beloved"; the only beloved Son, beloved in a sensedistinct from all others. Election and the love of God are inseparably joined.soul—a human phrase applied to God, because of the intended union of humanity with theDivinity: "I Myself."delighteth—is well pleased with, and accepts, as a propitiation. God could have "delighted"in no created being as a mediator (compare Isa 42:21; 63:5; Mt 3:17).spirit upon him—(Isa 11:2; 61:1; Lu 4:18; Joh 3:34).judgment—the gospel dispensation, founded on justice, the canon of the divine rule andprinciple of judgment called "the law" (Isa 2:3; compare Isa 42:4; 51:4; 49:6). The Gospel has adiscriminating judicial effect: saving to penitents; condemnatory to Satan, the enemy (Joh 12:31;16:11), and the wilfully impenitent (Joh 9:39). Mt 12:18 has, "He shall show," for "He shall bringforth," or "cause to go forth." Christ both produced and announced His "judgment." The Hebrewdwells most on His producing it; Matthew on His announcement of it: the two are joined in Him.2. Matthew [Mt 12:19] marks the kind of "cry" as that of altercation by quoting it, "He shallnot strive" (Isa 53:7).street—the Septuagint translates "outside." An image from an altercation in a house, loudenough to be heard in the street outside: appropriate of Him who "withdrew Himself" from thepublic fame created by His miracles to privacy (Mt 12:15; Mt 12:34, there, shows another andsterner aspect of His character, which is also implied in the term "judgment").3. bruised—"It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isa 53:5, 10; Ge 3:15); so He can feel for thebruised. As Isa 42:2 described His unturbulent spirit towards His violent enemies (Mt 12:14-16),and His utter freedom from love of notoriety, so Isa 42:3, His tenderness in cherishing the firstspark of grace in the penitent (Isa 40:11).reed—fragile: easily "shaken with the wind" (Mt 11:7). Those who are at best feeble, and whobesides are oppressed by calamity or by the sense of sin.break—entirely crush or condemn. Compare "bind up the broken-hearted" (Isa 50:4; 61:1; Mt11:28).flax—put for the lamp-wick, formed of flax. The believer is the lamp (so the Greek, Mt 5:15;Joh 5:35): his conscience enlightened by the Holy Ghost is the wick. "Smoking" means "dimlyburning," "smouldering," the flame not quite extinct. This expresses the positive side of the penitent'sreligion; as "bruised reed," the negative. Broken-hearted in himself, but not without some spark offlame: literally, "from above." Christ will supply such a one with grace as with oil. Also, the lightof nature smouldering in the Gentiles amidst the hurtful fumes of error. He not only did not quench,but cleared away the mists and superadded the light of revelation. See Jerome, To Algasia, Question2.

      truth—Mt 12:20 quotes it, "send forth judgment unto victory." Matthew, under the Spirit, givesthe virtual sense, but varies the word, in order to bring out a fresh aspect of the same thing. Truthhas in itself the elements of victory over all opposing forces. Truth is the victory of Him who is"the truth" (Joh 14:6). The gospel judicial sifting ("judgment") of believers and unbelievers, begunalready in part (Joh 3:18, 19; 9:39), will be consummated victoriously in truth only at His second1173JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncoming; Isa 42:13, 14, here, and Mt 12:32, 36, 41, 42, show that there is reference to the judicialaspect of the Gospel, especially finally: besides the mild triumph of Jesus coming in mercy to thepenitent now (Isa 42:2), there shall be finally the judgment on His enemies, when the "truth" shallbe perfectly developed. Compare Isa 61:1-3, where the two comings are similarly joined (Ps 2:4-6,8; Re 15:2, 4; 19:11-16). On "judgment," see on Isa 42:1.4. fail—faint; man in religion may become as the almost expiring flax-wick (Isa 42:3), but notso He in His purposes of grace.discouraged—literally, "broken," that is, checked in zeal by discouragements (compare Isa49:4, 5). Rosenmuller not so well translates, "He shall not be too slow on the one hand, nor run toohastily on the other."judgment—His true religion, the canon of His judgments and righteous reign.isles … wait, &c.—The distant lands beyond sea shall put their trust in His gospel way ofsalvation. Mt 12:21 virtually gives the sense, with the inspired addition of another aspect of thesame thing, "In his name shall the Gentiles trust" (as "wait for" here means, Isa 30:18). "His law"is not something distinct from Himself, but is indeed Himself, the manifestation of God's character("name") in Christ, who is the embodiment of the law (Isa 42:21; Jer 23:6; Ro 10:4). "Isles" here,and in Isa 42:12, may refer to the fact that the populations of which the Church was primarilyformed were Gentiles of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean.5. Previously God had spoken of Messiah; now (Isa 42:5-7) He speaks to Him. To show to allthat He is able to sustain the Messiah in His appointed work, and that all might accept Messiah ascommissioned by such a mighty God, He commences by announcing Himself as the AlmightyCreator and Preserver of all things.spread … earth—(Ps 136:6).6. in righteousness—rather, "for a righteous purpose" [Lowth]. (See Isa 42:21). God "set forth"His Son "to be a propitiation (so as) to declare His (God's) righteousness, that God might be just,and (yet) the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Ro 3:25, 26; compare see on Isa 41:2; Isa45:13; 50:8, 9).hold … hand—compare as to Israel, the type of Messiah, Ho 11:3.covenant—the medium of the covenant, originally made between God and Abraham (Isa 49:8)."The mediator of a better covenant" (Heb 8:6) than the law (see Isa 49:8; Jer 31:33; 50:5). So theabstract "peace," for peace-maker (Mic 5:5; Eph 2:14).the people—Israel; as Isa 49:8, compared with Isa 42:6, proves (Lu 2:32).7. blind—spiritually (Isa 42:16, 18, 19; Isa 35:5; Joh 9:39).prison—(Isa 61:1, 2).darkness—opposed to "light" (Isa 42:6; Eph 5:8; 1Pe 2:9).8. God turns from addressing Messiah to the people.Lord—Jehovah: God's distinguishing and incommunicable name, indicating essential being andimmutable faithfulness (compare Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18; 96:5; Ho 12:5).my—that is due to Me, and to Me alone.9. former things—Former predictions of God, which were now fulfilled, are here adduced asproof that they ought to trust in Him alone as God; namely, the predictions as to Israel's restorationfrom—namely, predictions as to Messiah, who is to bring all nations to the worship of Jehovah(Isa 42:1, 4, 6).1174JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonspring forth—The same image from plants just beginning to germinate occurs in Isa 43:19;58:8. Before there is the slightest indication to enable a sagacious observer to infer the comingevent, God foretells it.10. new song—such as has never before been sung, called for by a new manifestation of God'sgrace, to express which no hymn for former mercies would be appropriate. The new song shall besung when the Lord shall reign in Jerusalem, and all "nations shall flow unto it" (Isa 2:2; 26:1; Re5:9; 14:3).ye that go down to the sea—whose conversion will be the means of diffusing the Gospel todistant lands.all … therein—all the living creatures that fill the sea (Ps 96:11) [Maurer]. Or, all sailors andvoyagers [Gesenius]. But these were already mentioned in the previous clause: there he called on allwho go upon the sea; in this clause all animals in the sea; so in Isa 42:11, he calls on the inanimatewilderness to lift up its voice. External nature shall be so renovated as to be in unison with themoral renovation.11. cities—in a region not wholly waste, but mainly so, with an oasis here and there.Kedar—in Arabia-Deserta (Isa 21:16; Ge 25:13). The Kedarenians led a nomadic, wanderinglife. So Kedar is here put in general for that class of men.rock—Sela, that is, Petra, the metropolis of Idumea and the Nabathoean Ishmaelites. Or it mayrefer in general to those in Arabia-Petræa, who had their dwellings cut out of the rock.the mountains—namely, of Paran, south of Sinai, in Arabia-Petræa [Vitringa].12. glory … islands—(Isa 24:15).13-16. Jehovah will no longer restrain His wrath: He will go forth as a mighty warrior (Ex 15:3)to destroy His people's and His enemies, and to deliver Israel (compare Ps 45:3).stir up jealousy—rouse His indignation.roar—image from the battle cry of a warrior.14. long time—namely, during the desolation of Israel (Isa 32:14).holden my peace—(Compare Ps 50:21; Hab 1:2).cry like a travailing woman, &c.—Like a woman in parturition, who, after having restrainedher breathing for a time, at last, overcome with labor pain, lets out her voice with a panting sigh;so Jehovah will give full vent to His long pent-up wrath. Translate, instead of "destroy … devour";I will at once breathe hard and pant, namely, giving loose to My wrath.15. I will destroy all My foes.mountains—in Palestine usually planted with vines and olives in terraces, up to their tops.islands—rather, "dry lands." God will destroy His foes, the heathen, and their idols, and "dryup" the fountains of their oracles, their doctrines and institutions, the symbol of which is water,and their schools which promoted idolatry [Vitringa].16. blind—God's people, Israel, in captivity, needing a guide. In the ulterior sense the NewTestament Church, which was about to be led and enlightened by the Son of God as its leader andshepherd in the wilderness of the Roman empire, until it should reach a city of habitation. "A way… they knew not," refers to the various means ployed by Providence for the establishment of theChurch in the world, such as would never have occurred to the mind of mere man. "Blind," theyare called, as not having heretofore seen God's ways in ordering His Church.1175JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmake darkness light, &c.—implies that the glorious issue would only be known by the eventitself [Vitringa]. The same holds good of the individual believer (Isa 30:21; Ps 107:7; compare Ho2:6, 14; Eph 5:8; Heb 13:5).17. turned back … ashamed—disappointed in their trust; the same phrase occurs in Ps 35:4.18. deaf—namely, to the voice of God.blind—to your duty and interest; wilfully so (Isa 42:20). In this they differ from "the blind"(Isa 42:16). The Jews are referred to. He had said, God would destroy the heathen idolatry; herehe remembers that even Israel, His "servant" (Isa 42:19), from whom better things might have beenexpected, is tainted with this sin.19. my servant—namely, Israel. Who of the heathen is so blind? Considering Israel's highprivileges, the heathen's blindness was as nothing compared with that of Israelite messenger … sent—Israel was designed by God to be the herald of His truth to othernations.perfect—furnished with institutions, civil and religious, suited to their perfect well-being.Compare the title, "Jeshurun," the perfect one, applied to Israel (compare Isa 44:2), as the type ofMessiah [Vitringa]. Or translate, the friend of God, which Israel was by virtue of descent fromAbraham, who was so called (Isa 41:8), [Gesenius]. The language, "my servant" (compare Isa 42:1),"messenger" (Mal 3:1), "perfect" (Ro 10:4; Heb 2:10; 1Pe 2:22), can, in the full antitypical sense,only apply to Christ. So Isa 42:21 plainly refers to Him. "Blind" and "deaf" in His case refer to Hisendurance of suffering and reproach, as though He neither saw nor heard (Ps 38:13, 14). Thus thereis a transition by contrast from the moral blindness of Israel (Isa 42:18) to the patient blindness anddeafness of Messiah [Horsley].20. observest—Thou dost not keep them. The "many things" are the many proofs which allalong from the first God had given Israel of His goodness and His power (De 4:32-38; 29:2-4; Ps78:1-72; 105:1-45).he—transition from the second to the third person. "Opening … ears," that is, though he (Israel)hath his ears open (see on Isa 6:10). This language, too (see on Isa 42:19), applies to Messiah asJehovah's servant (Isa 50:5; Ps 40:6).21. his righteousness—not His people's, but His own; Isa 42:24 shows that they had norighteousness (Isa 45:24; 59:16). God is well pleased with His Son ("in whom My soul delighteth,"Isa 42:1), "who fulfils all righteousness" (Mt 3:15) for them, and with them for His sake (compareIsa 42:6; Ps 71:16, 19; Mt 5:17; Ro 10:3, 4; Php 3:9). Perhaps in God's "righteousness" here isincluded His faithfulness to His promises given to Israel's forefathers [Rosenmuller]; because of thisHe is well pleased with Israel, even though displeased with their sin, which He here reproves; butthat promise could only be based on the righteousness of Messiah, the promised seed, which isGod's righteousness.22. holes—caught by their foes in the caverns where they had sought refuge [Barnes]. Or boundin subterranean dungeons [Maurer].prison-houses—either literal prisons, or their own houses, whence they dare not go forth forfear of the enemy. The connection is: Notwithstanding God's favor to His people for Hisrighteousness' sake (Isa 42:21), they have fallen into misery (the Babylonish and Romish captivitiesand their present dispersion), owing to their disregard of the divine law: spiritual imprisonment isincluded (Isa 42:7).none saith, Restore—There is no deliverer (Isa 63:5).1176JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson23. A call that they should be warned by the past judgments of God to obey Him for the timeto come.24. Who—Their calamity was not the work of chance, but God's immediate act for their sins.Jacob … Israel … we—change from the third to the first person; Isaiah first speaking to themas a prophet, distinct from them; then identifying himself with them, and acknowledging His sharein the nation's sins (compare Jos 5:1).25. him—Israel (Isa 42:24).strength of battle—violence of—the battle or war (compare Isa 10:16).knew not—knew not the lesson of repentance which the judgment was intended to teach (Isa5:13; 9:13; Jer 5:3).CHAPTER 43Isa 43:1-28. A Succession of Arguments Wherein Israel May Be Assured that, Notwithstanding Their Perversitytowards God (Isa 42:25), He Will Deliver and Restore Them.1. But now—notwithstanding God's past just judgments for Israel's sins.created—not only in the general sense, but specially created as a peculiar people unto Himself(Isa 43:7, 15, 21; Isa 44:2, 21, 24). So believers, "created in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:10), "a peculiarpeople" (1Pe 2:9).redeemed—a second argument why they should trust Him besides creation. The Hebrew meansto ransom by a price paid in lieu of the captives (compare Isa 43:3). Babylon was to be the ransomin this case, that is, was to be destroyed, in order that they might be delivered; so Christ became acurse, doomed to death, that we might be redeemed.called … by … name—not merely "called" in general, as in Isa 42:6; 48:12; 51:2, but designatedas His own peculiar people (compare Isa 45:3, 4; Ex 32:1; 33:12; Joh 10:3).2. rivers … not overflow thee—so in passing Jordan, though at its "overflow," when its"swellings" were especially dangerous (Jos 3:15; Jer 12:5).waters … fire—a proverbial phrase for the extremest perils (Ps 66:12; also Ps 138:7). Literallyfulfilled at the Red Sea (Ex 14:21, 22), and in the case of the three youths cast into the fiery furnacefor conscience' sake (Da 3:25, 27).3. Egypt for thy ransom—Either Egypt or Israel must perish; God chose that Egypt, thoughso much more mighty, should be destroyed, in order that His people might be delivered; thus Egyptstood, instead of Israel, as a kind of "ransom." The Hebrew, kopher, means properly "that withwhich anything is overlaid," as the pitch with which the ark was overlaid; hence that which coversover sins, an atonement. Nebuchadnezzar had subdued Egypt, Ethiopia (Hebrew, Cush), and Saba(descended from Cush, Ge 10:7, probably Meroe of Ethiopia, a great island formed by the Astaborasand the Nile, conquered by Cambyses, successor of Cyrus). Cyrus received these from God withthe rest of the Babylonian dominions, in consideration of his being about to deliver Israel. However,the reference may be to the three years' war in which Sargon overcame these countries, and so hadhis attention diverted from Israel (see on Isa 20:1) [Vitringa]. But the reference is probably moregeneral, namely, to all the instances in which Jehovah sacrificed mighty heathen nations, when thesafety of Israel required it.1177JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. Since—All along from the beginning; for there was never a time when Israel was not Jehovah'speople. The apodosis should be at, "I will give." "Since ever thou wast precious in My sight,honorable, and that I loved thee, I will give," &c. [Maurer]. Gesenius, as English Version, takes "Since"to mean, "Inasmuch as." If the apodosis be as in English Version, "Since thou wast precious" willrefer to the time when God called His people out of Egypt, manifesting then first the love whichHe had from everlasting towards them (Jer 31:3; Ho 11:1); "honorable" and "loved," refer to outwardmarks of honor and love from … people—other nations for thee (so Isa 43:3).thy life—thy person.5. (De 30:3).seed—descendants scattered in all lands. Vitringa understands it of the spiritual "seed" of theChurch produced by mystical regeneration: for the expression is, "bring," not "bring back." Thissense is perhaps included, but not to the exclusion of the literal Israel's restoration (Jer 30:10, 11;Am 9:9; Zec 2:6-13).6. Give up—namely, My people.sons … daughters—The feminine joined to the masculine expresses the complete totality ofanything (Zec 9:17).7. called by my name—belong to Israel, whose people, as sons of God, bear the name of theirFather (Isa 44:5; 48:1).for my glory—(Isa 43:21; Isa 29:23).8. Solemn challenge given by God to the nations to argue with Him the question of Hissuperiority to their idols, and His power to deliver Israel (Isa 41:1).blind people—the Gentiles, who also, like Israel (Isa 42:19), are blind (spiritually), thoughhaving eyes; that is, natural faculties, whereby they might know God (Ro 1:20, 21) [Lowth]. Or else,the Jews [Vitringa].9. who … can declare this—who among the idolatrous soothsayers hath predicted this; thatis, as to Cyrus being the deliverer of Israel?former—predictions, as in Isa 42:9 [Maurer]. Or, things that shall first come to pass (see on Isa41:21, 22) [Barnes].let them bring forth their witnesses—as I do mine (Isa 43:10).justified—declared veracious in their pretended prophecies.or—rather, "and"; let men hear their prediction and say, from the event, It is verified (see onIsa 41:26).10. Ye—the Jews, to whom I have given predictions, verified by the event; and in deliveringwhom I have so often manifested My power (see Isa 43:3, 4; Isa 44:8).and my servant—that is, the whole Jewish people (Isa 41:8).believe—trust in.formed—before I existed none of the false gods were formed. "Formed" applies to the idols,not to God. Re 1:11 uses the same language to prove the Godhead of Jesus, as Isaiah here to provethe Godhead of Jehovah.11. Lord—Jehovah.saviour—temporally, from Babylon: eternally, from sin and hell (Ho 13:4; Ac 4:12). The sametitles as are applied to God are applied to Jesus.12. declared—predicted the future (Isa 41:22, 23).1178JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsaved—the nation, in past times of danger.showed—namely, that I was God.when … no strange god, &c.—to whom the predictions uttered by Me could be assigned."Strange" means foreign, introduced from abroad.13. before—literally, from the time of the first existence of day.let—Old English for "hinder" (Isa 14:27). Rather, translate, "undo it" [Horsley].14. sent—namely, the Medes and Persians (Isa 10:5, 6; 13:3).brought down—"made to go down" to the sea (Isa 42:10), in order to escape the impendingdestruction of Babylon.nobles—rather, "fugitives," namely, the foreigners who sojourned in populous Babylon (Isa13:14), distinct from the Chaldeans [Maurer].whose cry is in the ships—exulting in their ships with the joyous sailors—cry, boastingly;their joy heretofore in their ships contrasts sadly with their present panic in fleeing to them (Isa22:2; Zep 2:15). Babylon was on the Euphrates, which was joined to the Tigris by a canal, andflowed into the Persian Gulf. Thus it was famed for ships and commerce until the Persian monarchs,to prevent revolt or invasion, obstructed navigation by dams across the Tigris and Euphrates.15. creator of Israel—(Isa 43:1).your—proved to be specially yours by delivering you.16, 17. Allusion to the deliverance of Israel and overthrow of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, thestanding illustration of God's unchanging character towards His people (Ex 14:21, 22, 27, 28).17. the power—the might of the enemies host, every mighty warrior.they shall lie down together—as Pharaoh's army sank "together" in a watery grave.18. So wonderful shall be God's future interpositions in your behalf, that all past ones shall beforgotten in comparison. Plainly the future restoration of Israel is the event ultimately meant. Thusthe "former things" are such events as the destruction of Sennacherib and the return from Babylon."Things of old" are events still more ancient, the deliverance from Egypt and at the Red Sea, andentry into Canaan [Vitringa].19. new—unprecedented in its wonderful character (Isa 42:9).spring forth—as a germinating herb: a beautiful image of the silent but certain gradual growthof events in God's providence (Mr 4:26-28).way in … wilderness—just as Israel in the wilderness, between the Red Sea and Canaan, wasguided, and supplied with water by Jehovah; but the "new" deliverance shall be attended withmanifestations of God's power and love, eclipsing the old (compare Isa 41:17-19). "I will open away, not merely in the Red Sea, but in the wilderness of the whole world; and not merely one rivershall gush out of the rock, but many, which shall refresh, not the bodies as formerly, but the soulsof the thirsty, so that the prophecy shall be fulfilled: 'With joy shall ye draw water out of the wellsof salvation'" [Jerome]. "A way" often stands for the true religion (Ac 9:2; 18:26). "Rivers" expressthe influences of the Holy Spirit (Joh 7:37-39). Israel's literal restoration hereafter is included, asappears by comparing Isa 11:15, 16.20. beast—image of idolaters, defiled with blood and pollutions, dwelling like dragons, &c.,in the wastes of Gentile ignorance: even they shall be converted. Or else, literally, such copiousfloods of water shall be given by God in the desert, that the very beasts shall (in poetic language)praise the Lord (Ps 148:10) [Jerome].dragons—"serpents," or else jackals (see on Isa 13:22).1179JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonowls—rather, "ostriches."21. This people—namely, The same as "My people, My chosen" (see Isa 43:1, 7; Ps 102:18).my praise—on account of the many and great benefits conferred on them, especially theirrestoration.22. But—Israel, however, is not to think that these divine favors are due to their own pietytowards God. So the believer (Tit 3:5).but—rather, "for."weary of me—(Am 8:5, 6; Mal 1:13), though "I have not wearied thee" (Isa 43:23), yet "thouhast been weary of Me."23. small cattle—rather, the "lamb" or "kid," required by the law to be daily offered to God(Ex 29:38; Nu 28:3).sacrifices—offered any way; whereas the Hebrew for "holocaust," or "burnt offering," denotesthat which ascends as an offering consumed by fire.I have not caused thee to serve—that is, to render the the service of a slave (Mt 11:30; Ro8:15; 1Jo 4:18; 5:3).offering—bloodless (Le 2:1, 2).wearied—antithetical to Isa 43:22, "Thou hast been weary of Me." Though God in the lawrequired such offerings, yet not so as to "weary" the worshipper, or to exact them in cases where,as in the Babylonish captivity, they were physically unable to render them; God did not requirethem, save in subordination to the higher moral duties (Ps 50:8-14; 51:16, 17; Mic 6:3, 6-8).24. bought—for "sweet cane" (aromatic calamus) was not indigenous to Palestine, but had tobe bought from foreign countries (Jer 6:20). It was used among the Hebrews to make the sacredointment (Ex 30:23). It is often offered as a mark of hospitality.filled—satiated (Jer 31:14). God deigns to use human language to adapt Himself to humanmodes of thought.made me to serve—though "I have not caused thee to serve" (Isa 43:23). Our sin made theSon of God to become "a servant." He served to save us from servile bondage (Php 2:7; Heb 2:14,15).wearied me—Though I have "not wearied thee" (Isa 43:23; see Isa 1:14).25. I, even I—the God against whom your sin is committed, and who alone can and will pardon.(Isa 44:22).for mine own sake—(Isa 48:9, 11). How abominable a thing sin is, since it is against such aGod of grace! "Blotted out" is an image from an account-book, in which, when a debt is paid, thecharge is cancelled or blotted out.not remember … sins—(Jer 31:34). When God forgives, He forgets; that is, treats the sinneras if He had forgotten his sins.26. Put me in remembrance—Remind Me of every plea which thou hast to urge before Mein thy defense. Image from a trial (Isa 1:18; 41:1). Our strongest plea is to remind God of His ownpromises. So Jacob did at Mahanaim and Peniel (Ge 32:9, 12). God, then, instead of "pleadingagainst us with His great power," "will put His strength" in us (Job 23:6); we thus become "theLord's remembrancers" (Isa 62:6, Margin). "Declare God's righteousness" vindicated in JesusChrist "that thou mayest be justified" (Ro 3:26; compare Isa 20:1-6, and Ps 143:2).27. first father—collectively for "most ancient ancestors," as the parallelism ("teachers")proves [Maurer]. Or, thy chief religious ministers or priests [Gesenius]. Adam, the common father of1180JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonall nations, can hardly be meant here, as it would have been irrelevant to mention his sin in anaddress to the Jews specially. Abraham is equally out of place here, as he is everywhere cited asan example of faithfulness, not of "sin." However, taking the passage in its ultimate application tothe Church at large, Adam may be meant.teachers—literally, "interpreters" between God and man, the priests (Job 33:23; Mal 2:7).28. profaned the princes—(Ps 89:39; La 2:2, 6, 7). I have esteemed, or treated, them as personsnot sacred. I have left them to suffer the same treatment as the common people, stripped of theirholy office and in captivity.princes of the sanctuary—"governors of" it (1Ch 24:5); directing its holy services; priests.curse—Hebrew, cherim, a "solemn anathema," or "excommunication."reproaches—(Ps 123:3, 4).CHAPTER 44Isa 44:1-28. Continuation of the Previous Chapter.1-5. Yet—Though thou hast sinned, yet hear God's gracious promise as to thy deliverance.chosen—(Isa 41:8).2. (Isa 43:1, 7).formed … from … womb—(So Isa 44:24; Isa 49:1, 5). The sense is similar to that in Isa 1:2,"I have nourished and brought up children."Jesurun—A diminutive term of endearment applied to Israel. The full title of affection wasIsraelun; contracted it became Jeshurun, with an allusion to the Hebrew root, jashar, "upright,""perfect" (see on Isa 42:19, note on "He that is perfect") [Gesenius], (De 32:15).3. (Isa 41:18).him … thirsty—rather, "the land" (Isa 35:6, 7), figuratively for man thirsting after righteousness(Mt 5:6).floods—the abundant influences of the Holy Spirit, stronger than "water."spirit—including all spiritual and temporal gifts, as the parallel, "blessing," proves (Isa 11:2;32:15).seed—(Isa 59:21).4. they—thy "seed" and "offspring" (Isa 44:3).as among—needlessly inserted in English Version. Rather, "The seed shall spring up as willowsamong the grass beside canals of water" [Horsley]. Or, "They shall spring up among the grass (thatis, luxuriantly; for what grows in the midst of grass grows luxuriantly) as willows by thewater-courses," which makes the parallel clauses better balanced [Maurer].5. The third clause answers in parallelism to the first, the fourth to the second.I am the Lord's—(Jer 50:5; 1Co 6:19, 20; 2Co 8:5).call himself by the name of Jacob—The Gentiles (as the result of the outpouring of the HolySpirit on Israel, the Lord's "seed," first) shall join themselves to the children of Jacob, in order toworship their God (compare Isa 43:7; Ps 49:11). Or, "calls," that is, invokes and celebrates thename of Jacob, attaches himself to his nation and religion [Maurer], (Ps 24:6).subscribe … hand unto … Lord—in solemn and public covenant, pledging himself to God'sservice (compare Ne 9:38), before "witnesses" (Heb 12:1), after the manner of a civil contract (Jer1181JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson32:10, 12, 44). So the Christian in the sacraments [Barnes]. Literally, "shall fill his hand with letters(Ex 32:15; Eze 2:10) in honor of Jehovah"; or "shall write upon his hand, I am Jehovah's" (compareIsa 49:16; Re 13:16); alluding to the puncture with ink on the hand, whereby a soldier markedhimself as bound to his commander; and whereby the Christians used to mark themselves with thename of Christ [Lowth]. The former view is simpler.surname himself … Israel—Maurer and Gesenius interpret this as the Hebrew sanctions, answeringto their rendering of the parallel second clause, "calls blandly (speaks in honorable terms of) thename of Israel." Retaining English Version, we must, from the Hebrew understand it thus, "Surnamehimself by the honorable name of Israel" (Isa 45:4).6. Here follows an argument for Jehovah, as the only God, and against the idols, as vanity (seeon Isa 41:4; Isa 43:1; Isa 43:10-12).7. Who but God can predict future events and declare also the order and time of each (see onIsa 41:22, 23; Isa 45:21)?call—"openly proclaim" (Isa 40:6) things to come [Maurer]. Or, "call forth" the event; commandthat it happen (Isa 46:11; 48:15), [Barnes].set … in order—There is no chance or confusion; all events occur in the order best fitted tosubserve God's plans.for me—It is FOR God that all things exist and take place (Re 4:11). But Maurer translates, "Lethim set it forth (Job 37:19) to me."since … ancient people—I have given the Jews predictions of the future ever since I appointedthem as My people in ancient times; therefore they were qualified to be His witnesses (Isa 44:8).As to their being God's "ancient (everlasting) people," see De 32:7-9; Jer 31:3; the type of theredeemed Church (Eph 1:4).8. be afraid—literally, "be astounded," or "distracted with fear."from that time—namely, from the time that "I appointed the ancient people" (Isa 44:7). Fromthe time of Abraham's call, his family were the depositories of the predictions of the Redeemer,whereas the promise of Cyrus was not heard of till Isaiah's time; therefore, the event to the predictionand accomplishment of which God appeals in proof of His sole Godhead, is the redemption of manby a descendant of Abraham, in whose person "the ancient people" was first formally "appointed."The deliverance of the Jews, by Cyrus, is mentioned afterwards only as an earnest of that greatermercy [Horsley].no God—Hebrew, tsur, "rock" (De 32:4); that is, a stronghold to take refuge in, and a solidfoundation to build on.9. (Isa 40:18, 20; 41:29).delectable things—the idols in which they take such pride and delight.not profit—(Hab 2:18).they are their own witnesses—contrasted with, "Ye are My witnesses" (Isa 44:8). "They," thatis, both the makers and the idols, are witnesses against themselves, for the idols palpably see andknow nothing (Ps 115:4-8).that they may be ashamed—the consequence deducible from the whole previous argument,not merely from the words immediately preceding, as in Isa 28:13; 36:12. I say all this to show thatthey are doomed to perish with shame, which is their only fitting end.10. Who … ?—Sarcastic question: "How debased the man must be who forms a god!" It is acontradiction in terms. A made god, worshipped by its maker (1Co 8:4)!1182JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. his fellows—the associates of him who makes an idol; or of the idol (see De 7:26; Ps 115:8;Ho 4:17).they are of men—They are mortal men themselves; what better, then, can the idol be than itsmaker?gathered together … stand up—as in a court of justice, to try the issue between God and them(see on Isa 41:1; Isa 41:21).yet—wrongly inserted in English Version. The issue of the trial shall be, "they shall fear," &c.12. tongs—rather, "prepareth (to be supplied) an axe," namely, with which to cut down the treedesigned as the material of the idol. The "smith" (Hebrew, "workman in iron") here answers to the"carpenter" (Hebrew, "workman in wood"). "He worketh it (the axe, not the idol, which was wood,not metal) in the coals," &c. The axe was wrought, not cast. The smith makes the axe for thecarpenter.hungry … drinketh no water—so eager is he to expedite his work while the iron is hot. If thegod were worth anything, it would not let him grow "faint" with hunger and thirst. Williams, themissionary, states that the South Sea islanders when they make an idol abstain from food and drink.13. After the smith's work in preparing the instruments comes the carpenter's work in formingthe idol.rule—rather, "line" [Barnes].with a line—rather, a "pencil," [Horsley]. Literally, "red ochre," which he uses to mark on thewood the outline of the figure [Lowth]. Or best, the stylus or graver, with which the incision of theoutline is made [Gesenius].planes—rather, "chisels" or "carving tools," for a plane would not answer for carving.compass—from a Hebrew root, "to make a circle"; by it, symmetry of form is secured.according to … beauty of a man—irony. The highest idea the heathen could form of a godwas one of a form like their own. Jerome says, "The more handsome the statue the more august thegod was thought." The incarnation of the Son of God condescends to this anthropomorphic feelingso natural to man, but in such a way as to raise man's thoughts up to the infinite God who "is aspirit."that it may remain in … house—the only thing it was good for; it could not hear nor save(compare Wisdom 13:15).14. Description of the material out of which the idol is formed.cypress—rather, from Hebrew root, "to be hard," the holm oak," an evergreen abundant inPalestine [Gesenius].strengtheneth—literally, "and he getteth strength to himself in the trees of the forest;" that is,he layeth in a great store of timber [Lowth]. Or, "chooseth," as "madest strong for thyself," that is,hast chosen (Ps 80:15, 17) [Gesenius]. But English Version gives a good sense: "strengtheneth"; thatis, rears to maturity; a meaning suitable also to the context of Ps 80:15, 17, where Israel is comparedto a vine planted by Jehovah [Maurer].rain doth nourish it—Though the man planted the tree, yet he could not make it grow. Inpreparing to make an idol, he has to depend on the true God for rain from heaven (Jer 14:22).15. The same tree that furnishes the material for the god is in part used as fuel for a fire to cookhis meals and warm himself!thereto—rather, "he falleth down before them," that is, such images [Maurer].16. part … part—not distinct parts, but the same part of the wood (compare Isa 44:17).1183JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneateth—that is, cooks so as to eat (Isa 44:19).I have seen—I feel its power.18. he, &c.—God hath given them over to judicial blindness; not His direct physical, but Hisprovidential agency in administering His moral government, is meant (Isa 6:9, 10). "Shut," literally,"daubed," plastered up; it is an Eastern custom in some cases to seal up the eyes of offenders.19. considereth—literally, "layeth it to heart," (Isa 42:25; Jer 12:11).abomination—the scriptural term for an idol, not merely abominable, but the essence of whatis so, in the eyes of a jealous God (1Ki 11:5, 7).20. feedeth on ashes—figuratively, for the idolater delights in what is vain (Pr 15:14; Ho 12:1)."Feedeth on wind." There is an allusion, perhaps, also, to the god being made of a tree, the half ofwhich was reduced to ashes by fire (Isa 44:15-17); the idol, it is implied, was no better, and could,and ought, to have been reduced to ashes like the other half.deceived heart—The heart and will first go astray, then the intellect and life (Ro 1:28; Eph4:18).lie in … right hand—Is not my handiwork (the idol) a self-deceit?21. Remember—"Be not like the idolaters who consider not in their heart" (Isa 44:19).these—things just said as to the folly of servant—not like the idolaters, slaves to the stock of a tree (Isa 44:19). See Isa 44:1, 2.thou … not … forgotten of me—Therefore thou oughtest to "remember" Me.22. blotted out—the debt of thy sin from the account-book in which it was entered (Ex 32:32,33; Re 20:12).as a thick cloud—scattered away by the wind (Ps 103:12).as a cloud—a descending gradation. Not only the "thick cloud" of the heavier "transgressions,"but the "cloud" ("vapor" [Lowth], not so dense, but covering the sky as a mist) of the countless "sins."These latter, though not thought much of by man, need, as much as the former, to be cleared awayby the Sun of righteousness; else they will be a mist separating us from heaven (Ps 19:12, 13; 1Jo1:7-9).return … for—The antecedent redemption is the ground of, and motive to, repentance. We donot repent in order that He may redeem us, but because He hath redeemed us (Zec 12:10; Lu 24:47;Ac 3:18,19). He who believes in his being forgiven cannot but love (Lu 7:43, 47).23. Call to inanimate nature to praise God; for it also shall share in the coming deliverance from"the bondage of corruption" (Ro 8:20, 21).done it—effected redemption for both the literal and spiritual Israel.lower parts, &c.—antithetical to "heavens"; "mountains," "forest," and "tree," are theintermediate objects in a descending gradation (see Ps 96:11, 12).24-28. Confirmation of His promises to the Church and Israel, by various instances of Hisomnipotence; among these the restoration of the Jews by Cyrus.alone—literally, "Who was with Me?" namely, when I did it; answering to "by Myself," in theparallel clause (compare similar phrases, Ho 8:4; Joh 5:30) [Maurer].25. tokens—prognostics; the pretended miracles which they gave as proofs of their supernaturalpowers.liars—(Jer 50:36). Conjurers; or, astrologers; men leading a retired contemplative life in orderto study divination by the signs of the stars [Vitringa].1184JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbackward—with shame at their predictions not being verified. "To turn away the face" is tofrustrate defeat (Isa 36:9; 1Ki 2:15). The "wise men" are the diviners who, when Babylon wasattacked by Cyrus, predicted his overthrow.26. servant—in a collective sense, for the prophets in general, who foretold the return fromBabylon; answering to "His messengers" (plural, in the parallel clause) [Maurer]. Antitypically, andultimately, Messiah, who is the consummating embodiment of all the prophets and messengers ofGod (Mal 3:1; Mt 21:34, 36, 37; Joh 10:36); hence the singular, "His servant."counsel—predictions; prophets' counsels concern the future (compare "counsellor," Isa 41:28).Jerusalem—regarded prophetically, as lying in ruins.27. Referring to the Euphrates, which was turned into a different channel, close to Babylon, byCyrus, who thereby took the city. "The deep" is applied to Euphrates as "sea" (Jer 51:32, 36)."Rivers" refers to the artificial canals from the Euphrates made to irrigate the country; when it wasturned off into a different bed (namely, a lake, forty miles square, which was originally formed toreceive the superfluous water in an inundation), the canals became dry.28. my shepherd—type of Messiah (Isa 40:11; Ps 23:1; 77:20; Eze 34:23).all my pleasure—so Messiah (Isa 42:1; 53:10). This is the first time Cyrus is named expressly;and that, a hundred fifty years before the time when in 550 B.C. he began his reign. The name comesfrom the Persian khorschid, "the sun"; kings often taking their names from the gods; the sun wasworshipped as a god in Persia.saying—rather, "and that saith"; construed with God, not with Cyrus. God's word isinstantaneously efficient in accomplishing His … to—or, "of Jerusalem … of the temple," as previously, the same Hebrew word is translated,"of Cyrus" [Barnes]. English Version is more graphic. Cyrus, according to Josephus, heard of thisprophecy of Isaiah delivered so long before; hence he was induced to do that which was so contraryto Oriental policy, to aid in restoring the captive Jews and rebuilding their temple and city.CHAPTER 45Isa 45:1-25. The Subject of the Deliverance by Cyrus Is Followed Up.Isa 45:1-7. These seven verses should have been appended to previous chapter, and the newchapter should begin with Isa 45:8, "Drop down," &c. [Horsley]. Reference to the deliverance byMessiah often breaks out from amidst the local and temporary details of the deliverance fromBabylon, as the great ultimate end of the prophecy.1. his anointed—Cyrus is so called as being set apart as king, by God's providence, to fulfilHis special purpose. Though kings were not anointed in Persia, the expression is applied to him inreference to the Jewish custom of setting apart kings to the regal office by anointing.right hand … holden—image from sustaining a feeble person by holding his right hand (Isa42:6).subdue nations—namely, the Cilicians, Syrians, Babylonians, Lydians, Bactrians, &c.; hisempire extended from Egypt and the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and from Ethiopia to theEuxine Sea.loose … girdle loins—that is, the girdle off the loins; and so enfeeble them. The loose outerrobe of the Orientals, when girt fast round the loins, was the emblem of strength and preparedness1185JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor action; ungirt, was indicative of feebleness (Job 38:3; 12:21); "weakeneth the strength of themighty" (Margin), "looseth the girdle of the strong." The joints of (Belshazzar's) loins, we read inDa 5:6, were loosed during the siege by Cyrus, at the sight of the mysterious handwriting on thepalace walls. His being taken by surprise, unaccoutred, is here open … gates—In the revelry in Babylon on the night of its capture, the inner gates, leadingfrom the streets to the river, were left open; for there were walls along each side of the Euphrateswith gates, which, had they been kept shut, would have hemmed the invading hosts in the bed ofthe river, where the Babylonians could have easily destroyed them. Also, the gates of the palacewere left open, so that there was access to every part of the city; and such was its extent, that theywho lived in the extremities were taken prisoners before the alarm reached the center of the palace.[Herodotus, 1.191].2. crooked … straight—(Isa 40:4), rather, "maketh mountains plain" [Lowth], that is, clear outof thy way all opposing persons and things. The Keri reads as in Isa 45:13, "make straight" (Margin).gates of brass—(Ps 107:16). Herodotus (1.179) says, Babylon had a hundred massive gates,twenty-five on each of the four sides of the city, all, as well as their posts, of brass.bars of iron—with which the gates were fastened.3. treasures of darkness—that is, hidden in subterranean places; a common Oriental practice.Sorcerers pretended to be able to show where such treasures were to be found; in opposition totheir pretensions, God says, He will really give hidden treasures to Cyrus (Jer 50:37; 51:13). Pliny(Natural History,, 33:3) says that Cyrus obtained from the conquest of Asia thirty-four thousandpounds weight of gold, besides golden vases, and five hundred thousand talents of silver, and thegoblet of Semiramis, weighing fifteen talents.that thou mayest know—namely, not merely that He was "the God of Israel," but that He wasJehovah, the true God. Ezr 1:1, 2 shows that the correspondence of the event with the predictionhad the desired effect on Cyrus.which call … thy name—so long before designate thee by name (Isa 43:1).4. (See on Isa 41:8; Isa 43:14).surnamed—that is, designated to carry out My design of restoring Judah (see on Isa 44:5; Isa44:28; Isa 45:1). Maurer here, as in Isa 44:5, translates, "I have addressed thee by an honorablename."hast not known me—previous to My calling thee to this office; after God's call, Cyrus didknow Him in some degree (Ezr 1:1-3).5. (Isa 42:8; 43:3, 11; 44:8; 46:9).girded thee—whereas "I will loose (the girdle off) the loins of kings" (Isa 45:1), strengtheningthee, but enfeebling them before thee.though … not known me—(Isa 45:4). God knows His elect before they are made to know Him(Ga 4:9; Joh 15:16).6. From the rising to the setting of the sun, that is, from east to west, the whole habitable world.It is not said, "from north to south," for that would not imply the habitable world, as, "from eastto west" does (Ezr 1:1, &c.). The conquest of Jerusalem by Babylon, the capital of the world, andthe overthrow of Babylon and restoration of the Jews by Cyrus, who expressly acknowledgedhimself to be but the instrument in God's hands, were admirably suited to secure, throughout theworld, the acknowledgment of Jehovah as the only true God.1186JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. form … create—yatzar, to give "form" to previously existing matter. Bara, to "create" fromnothing the chaotic dark material.light … darkness—literally (Ge 1:1-3), emblematical also, prosperity to Cyrus, calamity toBabylon and the nations to be vanquished [Grotius] … Isaiah refers also to the Oriental belief in twocoexistent, eternal principles, ever struggling with each other, light or good, and darkness or evil,Oromasden and Ahrimanen. God, here, in opposition, asserts His sovereignty over both [Vitringa].create evil—not moral evil (Jas 1:13), but in contrast to "peace" in the parallel clause, war,disaster (compare Ps 65:7; Am 3:6).8. Drop—namely, the fertilizing rain (Ps 65:12).skies—clouds; lower than the "heavens."righteousness—that is, the dews of the Holy Spirit, whereby "righteousness" shall "spring up."(See latter end of the verse).earth—figuratively for the hearts of men on it, opened for receiving the truth by the Holy Ghost(Ac 16:14).them—the earth and the heavens. Horsley prefers: "Let the earth open, and let salvation andjustice grow forth; let it bring them forth together; I the Lord have created him" (Isa 45:13). Maurertranslates, "Let all kinds of salvation (prosperity) be fruitful" (Ps 72:3, 6, 7). The revival of religionafter the return from Babylon suggests to the prophet the diffusion of Messiah's Gospel, especiallyin days still future; hence the elevation of the language to a pitch above what is applicable to thestate of religion after the return.9. Anticipating the objections which the Jews might raise as to why God permitted their captivity,and when He did restore them, why He did so by a foreign prince, Cyrus, not a Jew (Isa 40:27,&c.), but mainly and ultimately, the objections about to be raised by the Jews against God's sovereignact in adopting the whole Gentile world as His spiritual Israel (Isa 45:8, referring to this catholicdiffusion of the Gospel), as if it were an infringement of their nation's privileges; so Paul expresslyquotes it (Ro 9:4-8, 11-21).Let … strive—Not in the Hebrew; rather, in apposition with "him," "A potsherd among thepotsherds of the earth!" A creature fragile and worthless as the fragment of an earthen vessel, amongothers equally so, and yet presuming to strive with his Maker! English Version implies, it isappropriate for man to strive with man, in opposition to 2Ti 2:24 [Gesenius].thy … He—shall thy work say of thee, He … ?10. If it be wrong for a child, born in less favorable circumstances, to upbraid his parents withhaving given him birth, a fortiori, it is, to upbraid God for His dealings with us. Rather translate,"a father … a woman." The Jews considered themselves exclusively God's children and were angrythat God should adopt the Gentiles besides. Woe to him who says to one already a father, Why dostthou beget other children? [Horsley].11. Ask … command—Instead of striving with Me in regard to My purposes, your wisdom isin prayer to ask, and even command Me, in so far as it is for My glory, and for your real good (Mr11:24; Joh 16:23, 13, latter part of the verse; 1Jo 3:22).sons—(Isa 54:13; Ga 3:26).work of my hands—spiritually (Eph 2:10); also literal Israel (Isa 60:21). Maurer translates,instead of "command," Leave it to Me, in My dealings concerning My sons and concerning thework of My hands, to do what I will with My own. Lowth reads it interrogatively, Do ye presume1187JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto question Me and dictate to Me (see Isa 45:9, 10)? The same sense is given, if the words be takenin irony. But English Version is best.12. The same argument for prayer, drawn from God's omnipotence and consequent power, togrant any request, occurs in Isa 40:26-31.I, even my hands—so Hebrew (Ps 41:2), "Thou … thy hand" (both nominatives, in apposition).13. him—Cyrus, type of Messiah, who redeems the captives of Satan "without money andwithout price" (Isa 55:1), "freely" (gratuitously) (Isa 52:3; 61:1; Zec 9:11; Ro 3:24).in righteousness—to fulfil My righteous purpose (see on Isa 41:2; Isa 42:6; Jer 23:6).14. The language but cursorily alludes to Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba, being given to Cyrus as aransom in lieu of Israel whom he restored (Isa 43:3), but mainly and fully describes the gatheringin of the Gentiles to Israel (Ac 2:10, 11; 8:27-38), especially at Israel's future restoration (Isa 2:2;14:1, 2; 19:18-22; 60:3-14; 49:23; Ps 68:31; 72:10, 11).labour—wealth acquired by labor (Jer 3:24).Sabeans … of stature—the men of Meroe, in Upper Egypt. Herodotus (3.30) calls the Ethiopians"the tallest of men" (see on Isa 18:2; 1Ch 11:23).thee—Jerusalem ("my city," Isa 45:13).in chains—(Ps 149:8). "The saints shall judge the world" (1Co 6:2) and "rule the nations witha rod of iron" (Zec 14:12-19; Re 2:26, 27). The "chains," in the case of the obedient, shall be theeasy yoke of Messiah; as "the sword of the Spirit" also is saving to the believer, condemnatory tothe unbeliever (Joh 12:48; Heb 4:12; Re 19:15).God is in thee—(Jer 3:19).15. God that hidest thyself—Horsley, after Jerome, explains this as the confession of Egypt, &c.,that God is concealed in human form in the person of Jesus. Rather, connected with Isa 45:9, 10,the prophet, contemplating the wonderful issue of the seemingly dark counsels of God, implies acensure on those who presume to question God's dealings (Isa 55:8, 9; De 29:29). Faith still discerns,even under the veil, the covenant-keeping "God of Israel, the Saviour" (Isa 8:17).16. ashamed—"disappointed" in their expectation of help from their idols (see on Isa 42:17;Psalm 97. 7).17. in the Lord—(Isa 45:24, 25), contrasted with the idols which cannot give even temporaryhelp (Isa 45:16); in Jehovah there is everlasting salvation (Isa 26:4).not … ashamed—opposed to the doom of the idolaters, who, in the hour of need, shall be"ashamed" (see on Isa 45:16).18. (See on Isa 45:12).not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited—Therefore, Judah, lying waste during the Babylonishcaptivity, shall be peopled again by the exiles. The Jews, from this passage, infer that, after theresurrection, the earth shall be inhabited, for there can be no reason why the earth should then existin vain any more than now (2Pe 3:13).19. not … secret—not like the heathen oracles which gave their responses from dark caverns,with studied obscurity (Isa 48:16). Christ plainly quotes these words, thereby identifying Himselfwith Jehovah (Joh 18:20).I said not … Seek … in vain—When I commanded you to seek Me (Jehovah did so, Isa 45:11,"Ask Me," &c.), it was not in order that ye might be sent empty away (De 32:47). Especially inIsrael's time of trial, God's interposition, in behalf of Zion hereafter, is expressly stated as about to1188JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbe the answer to prayer (Isa 62:6, 7-10; Ps 102:13-17, 19-21). So in the case of all believers, thespiritual Israel.righteousness—that which is veracious: not in the equivocal terms of heathen responses, fitlysymbolized by the "dark places" from which they were uttered.right—true (see on Isa 41:26).20. escaped of the nations—those of the nations who shall have escaped the slaughter inflictedby Cyrus. Now, at last, ye shall see the folly of "praying to a god that cannot save" (Isa 45:16).Ultimately, those that shall be "left of all the nations which shall come against Jerusalem" are meant(Zec 14:16). They shall then all be converted to the Lord (Isa 66:23, 24; Jer 3:17; Zec 8:20-23).21. Challenge the worshippers of idols (Isa 41:1).take counsel together—as to the best arguments wherewith to defend the cause of idolatry.who … from that time—(Isa 41:22, 23; see on Isa 44:8). Which of the idols has done whatGod hath, namely, foretold, primarily as to Cyrus; ultimately as to the final restoration of Israelhereafter? The idolatry of Israel before Cyrus' time will have its counterpart in the Antichrist andthe apostasy, which shall precede Christ's manifestation.just … and … Saviour—righteous in keeping His promises, and therefore a Saviour to Hispeople. Not only is it not inconsistent with, but it is the result of, His righteousness, or justice, thatHe should save His redeemed (Isa 42:6, 21; Ps 85:10, 11; Ro 3:26).22. Look … and be ye saved—The second imperative expresses the result which will followobedience to the first (Ge 42:18); ye shall be saved (Joh 3:14, 15). Nu 21:9: "If a serpent had bittenany man, when he beheld the serpent of brass he lived." What so simple as a look? Not do something,but look to the Saviour (Ac 16:30, 31). Believers look by faith, the eye of the soul. The look is thatof one turning (see Margin) to God, as at once "Just and the Saviour" (Isa 45:21), that is, the lookof conversion (Ps 22:27).23. sworn by myself—equivalent to, "As I live," as Ro 14:11 quotes it. So Nu 14:21. God couldswear by no greater, therefore He swears by Himself (Heb 6:13, 16).word … in righteousness—rather, "the truth (see on Isa 45:19) is gone forth from My mouth,the word (of promise), and it shall not return (that is, which shall not be revoked)" [Lowth]. But theaccents favor English Version.tongue … swear—namely, an oath of allegiance to God as their true King (see on Isa 19:18;Isa 65:16). Yet to be fulfilled (Zec 14:9).24. Rather, "Only in Jehovah shall men say of me (this clause is parenthetical), is thererighteousness" (which includes salvation, Isa 45:21, "a just God and a Saviour," Isa 46:13), &c.[Maurer].strength—namely, to save.shall men come—Those who have set themselves up against God shall come to Him in penitencefor the past (Isa 19:22).ashamed—(Isa 45:16; Isa 54:17; 41:11).25. all … Israel—the spiritual Israel (Ro 2:29) and the literal Israel, that is, the final remnantwhich shall all be saved (Isa 45:17; Ro 11:26).justified—treated as if they were just, through Christ's righteousness and death (Jer 23:5).glory—literally, "sing" in His praise (Jer 9:24; 1Co 1:31).1189JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 46Isa 46:1-13. Babylon's Idols Could Not Save Themselves, Much Less Her. But God Can and Will Save Israel: CyrusIs His Instrument.1. Bel—the same as the Phoenician Baal, that is, lord, the chief god of Babylon; to it wasdedicated the celebrated tower of Babylon, in the center of one of the two parts into which the citywas divided, the palace being in the center of the other. Identical with the sun, worshipped onturrets, housetops, and other high places, so as to be nearer the heavenly hosts (Saba) (Jer 19:13;32:29; Zep 1:5). Gesenius identifies Bel with the planet Jupiter, which, with the planet Venus (underthe name Astarte or Astaroth), was worshipped in the East as the god of fortune, the most propitiousstar to be born under (see on Isa 65:11). According to the Apocryphal book, Bel and the Dragon,Bel was cast down by Cyrus.boweth … stoopeth—falleth prostrate (Isa 10:4; 1Sa 5:3, 4; Ps 20:8).Nebo—the planet Mercury or Hermes, in astrology. The scribe of heaven, answering to theEgyptian Anubis. The extensive worship of it is shown by the many proper names compounded ofit: Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuzar-adan, Nabonassar, &c.were upon—that is, were a burden (supplied from the following clause) upon. It was customaryto transport the gods of the vanquished to the land of the conquerors, who thought thereby the moreeffectually to keep down the subject people (1Sa 5:1, &c.; Jer 48:7; 49:3; Da 11:8).carriages—in the Old English sense of the things carried, the images borne by you: the lading(Ac 21:15), "carriages," not the vehicles, but the baggage. Or, the images which used to be carriedby you formerly in your solemn processions [Maurer].were heavy loaden—rather, are put as a load on the beasts of burden [Maurer]. Horsley translates,"They who should have been your carriers (as Jehovah is to His people, Isa 46:3, 4) are becomeburdens" (see on Isa 46:4).2. deliver—from the enemies' hands.burden—their images laid on the beasts (Isa 46:1).themselves—the gods, here also distinguished from their images.3. in contrast to what precedes: Babylon's idols, so far from bearing its people safely arethemselves borne off, a burden to the laden beast; but Jehovah bears His people in safety evenfrom the womb to old age (Isa 63:9; De 32:11; Ps 71:6, 18). God compares Himself to a nursetenderly carrying a child; contrast Moses' language (Nu 11:12).4. old age—As "your"—"you"—"you," are not in the Hebrew, the sentiment is more generalthan English Version, though of course it includes the Jews from the infancy to the more advancedage of their history (Isa 47:6).I am he—that is, the same (Ps 102:27; Joh 8:24; Heb 13:8).I will bear … carry—Not only do I not need to be borne and carried Myself, as the idols (Isa46:1).5. (Isa 40:18, 25).6. (Isa 40:19, 20; 41:7.) They lavish gold out of their purses and spare no expense for their idol.Their profuseness shames the niggardliness of professors who worship God with what cost themnothing. Sin is always a costly service.7. cry … can … not … save—(Isa 45:20, with which contrast Isa 45:19).8. show yourselves men—Renounce the childishness of idolatry as shown in what precedes(1Co 14:20; 16:13; Eph 4:14). In order to be manly we must be godly; for man was made "in the1190JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonimage of God," and only rises to his true dignity when joined to God; virtue is derived from theLatin vir, "a man."bring … to mind—rather, "lay it to heart."transgressors—addressed to the idolaters among the Jews.9. former—namely, proofs of the sole Godship of Jehovah, from predictions fulfilled, andinterpositions of God in behalf of Israel (Isa 45:5).10. (Isa 45:21; 41:22, 23; 44:26).yet—not in the Hebrew. Translate, "What had not been done" [Horsley].do all my pleasure—(Isa 53:10; Ro 9:19).11. ravenous bird—Cyrus so called on account of the rapidity of his marches from the distantregions of Persia to pounce on his prey (see on Isa 41:2; Isa 41:25; Jer 49:22; Eze 17:3). The standardof Cyrus, too, was a golden eagle on a spear (see the heathen historian, Xenophon, 7, where almostthe same word is used, aetos, as here, ayit).executeth my counsel—(Isa 44:28; 45:13). Babylon represents, mystically, the apostate faction:the destruction of its idols symbolizes the future general extirpation of all idolatry and unbelief.purposed … also do it—(Isa 43:13).12. stout-hearted—stubborn in resisting God (Ps 76:5; Ac 7:51).far from righteousness—(Isa 59:9; Hab 2:4).13. near—antithetical to "far" (Isa 46:12; Isa 51:5; 56:1; 61:10, 11; Ro 10:6-8).righteousness—answering to "salvation" in the parallel clause; therefore it means here, "myrighteous deliverance"; righteous, because proving the truth of God's promises, and so contrivedas to not compromise, but vindicate, His righteousness (Isa 42:21; Ro 3:26).Zion … my glory—rather, "I will give salvation in Zion; to Israel (I will give) my glory"[Horsley]. (Isa 63:11; Ps 14:7; Lu 2:32).CHAPTER 47Isa 47:1-15. The Destruction of Babylon Is Represented under the Image of a Royal Virgin Brought Down in aMoment from Her Magnificent Throne to the Extreme of Degradation.1. in the dust—(See on Isa 3:26; Job 2:13; La 2:10).virgin—that is, heretofore uncaptured [Herodotus, 1.191].daughter of Babylon—Babylon and its inhabitants (see on Isa 1:8; Isa 37:22).no throne—The seat of empire was transferred to Shushan. Alexander intended to have madeBabylon his seat of empire, but Providence defeated his design. He soon died; and Seleucia, beingbuilt near, robbed it of its inhabitants, and even of its name, which was applied to Seleucia.delicate—alluding to the effeminate debauchery and prostitution of all classes at banquets andreligious rites [Curtius, 5.1; Herodotus, 1.199; Baruch, 6.43].2. millstones—like the querns or hand-mills, found in this country, before the invention ofwater mills and windmills: a convex stone, made by the hand to turn in a concave stone, fitted toreceive it, the corn being ground between them: the office of a female slave in the East; mostdegrading (Job 31:10; Mt 24:41).uncover thy locks—rather, "take off thy veil" [Horsley]: perhaps the removal of the plaited hairworn round the women's temples is included; it, too, is a covering (1Co 11:15); to remove it and1191JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe veil is the badge of the lowest female degradation; in the East the head is the seat of femalemodesty; the face of a woman is seldom, the whole head almost never, seen bare (see on Isa 22:8).make bare the leg—rather "lift up (literally, 'uncover'; as in lifting up the train the leg isuncovered) thy flowing train." In Mesopotamia, women of low rank, as occasion requires, wadeacross the rivers with stript legs, or else entirely put off their garments and swim across. "Exchangethy rich, loose, queenly robe, for the most abject condition, that of one going to and fro throughrivers as a slave, to draw water," &c.uncover … thigh—gather up the robe, so as to wade across.3. not meet … as a man—rather, "I will not meet a man," that is, suffer man to intercede withme—give man an audience [Horsley]. Or, "I will not make peace with any man," before all aredestroyed. Literally, "strike a league with"; a phrase arising from the custom of striking handstogether in making a compact [Maurer], (see on Pr 17:18; Pr 22:26; 11:15, Margin). Or else fromstriking the victims sacrificed in making treaties.4. As for—rather supply, "Thus saith our Redeemer" [Maurer]. Lowth supposes this verse to bethe exclamation of a chorus breaking in with praises, "Our Redeemer! Jehovah of hosts," &c. (Jer50:34).5. Sit—the posture of mourning (Ezr 9:4; Job 2:13; La 2:10).darkness—mourning and misery (La 3:2; Mic 7:8).lady of kingdoms—mistress of the world (Isa 13:19).6. reason for God's vengeance on Babylon: in executing God's will against His people, she haddone so with wanton cruelty (Isa 10:5, &c.; Jer 50:17; 51:33; Zec 1:15).polluted my inheritance—(Isa 43:28).the ancient—Even old age was disregarded by the Chaldeans, who treated all alike with cruelty(La 4:16; 5:12) [Rosenmuller]. Or, "the ancient" means Israel, worn out with calamities in the latterperiod of its history (Isa 46:4), as its earlier stage of history is called its "youth" (Isa 54:6; Eze16:60).7. so that—Through thy vain expectation of being a queen for ever, thou didst advance to sucha pitch of insolence as not to believe "these things" (namely, as to thy overthrow, Isa 47:1-5)possible.end of it—namely, of thy insolence, implied in her words, "I shall be a lady for ever."8. given to pleasures—(See on Isa 47:1). In no city were there so many incentives tolicentiousness.I am … none … beside me—(Isa 47:10). Language of arrogance in man's mouth; fitting forGod alone (Isa 45:6). See Isa 5:8, latter part.widow … loss of children—A state, represented as a female, when it has fallen is called awidow, because its king is no more; and childless, because it has no inhabitants; they having beencarried off as captives (Isa 23:4; 54:1, 4, 5; Re 18:7, 8).9. in a moment—It should not decay slowly, but be suddenly and unexpectedly destroyed; ina single night it was taken by Cyrus. The prophecy was again literally fulfilled when Babylonrevolted against Darius; and, in order to hold out to the last, each man chose one woman of hisfamily, and strangled the rest, to save provisions. Darius impaled three thousand of the … perfection—that is, "in full measure."1192JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor … for—rather, "notwithstanding the … notwithstanding"; "in spite of" [Lowth]. So "for"(Nu 14:11). Babylon was famous for "expiations or sacrifices, and other incantations, whereby theytried to avert evil and obtain good" [Diodorus Siculus].10. wickedness—as in Isa 13:11, the cruelty with which Babylon treated its subject states.None seeth me—(Ps 10:11; 94:7). "There is none to exact punishment from me." Sinners arenot safe, though seeming secret.Thy wisdom—astrological and political (Isa 19:11, &c., as to Egypt).perverted—turns thee aside from the right and safe path.11. from whence it riseth—Hebrew, "the dawn thereof," that is, its first rising. Evil shall comeon thee without the least previous intimation [Rosenmuller]. But dawn is not applied to "evil," but toprosperity shining out after misery (Isa 21:12). Translate, "Thou shall not see any dawn" (ofalleviation) [Maurer].put … off—rather, as Margin, "remove by expiation"; it shall be never ending.not know—unawares: which thou dost not apprehend. Proving the fallacy of thy divinationsand astrology (Job 9:5; Ps 35:8).12. Stand—forth: a scornful challenge to Babylon's magicians to show whether they can defendtheir city.laboured—The devil's service is a laborious yet fruitless one (Isa 55:2).13. wearied—(compare Isa 57:10; Eze 24:12).astrologers—literally, those who form combinations of the heavens; who watch conjunctionsand oppositions of the stars. "Casters of the configurations of the sky" [Horsley]. Gesenius explainsit: the dividers of the heavens. In casting a nativity they observed four signs:—the horoscope, orsign which arose at the time one was born; the mid-heaven; the sign opposite the horoscope towardsthe west; and the hypogee.monthly prognosticators—those who at each new moon profess to tell thereby what is aboutto happen. Join, not as English Version, "save … from those things," &c.; but, "They that at newmoons make known from (by means of) them the things that shall come upon thee" [Maurer].14. (Isa 29:6; 30:30).not … a coal—Like stubble, they shall burn to a dead ash, without leaving a live coal or cinder(compare Isa 30:14), so utterly shall they be destroyed.15. Thus, &c.—Such shall be the fate of those astrologers who cost thee such an amount oftrouble and money.thy merchants, from thy youth—that is, with whom thou hast trafficked from thy earliesthistory, the foreigners sojourning in Babylon for the sake of commerce (Isa 13:14; Jer 51:6, 9; Na3:16, 17) [Barnes]. Rather, the astrologers, with whom Babylon had so many dealings (Isa 47:12-14)[Horsley].to his quarter—literally, "straight before him" (Eze 1:9, 12). The foreigners, whether soothsayersor merchants, shall flee home out of Babylon (Jer 50:16).CHAPTER 48Isa 48:1-22. The Things That Befall Babylon Jehovah Predicted Long before, lest Israel Should Attribute Them, inIts "Obstinate" Perversity, to Strange Gods (Isa 48:1-5).1193JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. the waters of Judah—spring from the fountain of Judah (Nu 24:7; De 33:28; Ps 68:26;Margin). Judah has the "fountain" attributed to it, because it survived the ten tribes, and from itMessiah was to spring.swear by … Lord—(Isa 19:18; 45:23; 65:16).mention—in prayers and praises.not in truth—(Jer 5:2; Joh 4:24).2. For—Ye deserve these reproofs; "for" ye call yourselves citizens of "the holy city" (Isa 52:1),but not in truth (Isa 48:1; Ne 11:1; Da 9:24); so the inscription on their coins of the time of theMaccabees. "Jerusalem the Holy."3. former—things which have happened in time past to Israel (Isa 42:9; 44:7, 8; 45:21; 46:10).suddenly—They came to pass so unexpectedly that the prophecy could not have resulted frommere human sagacity.4. obstinate—Hebrew, "hard" (De 9:27; Eze 3:7, Margin).iron sinew—inflexible (Ac 7:51).brow brass—shameless as a harlot (see Jer 6:28; 3:3; Eze 3:7, Margin).5. (See on Isa 48:1; Isa 48:3).6. Thou, &c.—So "ye are my witnesses" (Isa 43:10). Thou canst testify the prediction wasuttered long before the fulfilment: "see all this," namely, that the event answers to the prophecy.declare—make the fact known as a proof that Jehovah alone is God (Isa 44:8).new things—namely, the deliverance from Babylon by Cyrus, new in contradistinction fromformer predictions that had been fulfilled (Isa 42:9; 43:19). Antitypically, the prophecy has in viewthe "new things" of the gospel treasury (So 7:13; Mt 13:52; 2Co 5:17; Re 21:5). From this pointforward, the prophecies as to Messiah's first and second advents and the restoration of Israel, havea new circumstantial distinctness, such as did not characterize the previous ones, even of Isaiah.Babylon, in this view, answers to the mystical Babylon of Revelation.hidden—which could not have been guessed by political sagacity (Da 2:22, 29; 1Co 2:9, 10).7. Not like natural results from existing causes, the events when they took place were like actsof creative power, such as had never before been "from the beginning."even before the day when—rather [Maurer], "And before the day (of their occurrence) thouhast not heard of them"; that is, by any human acuteness; they are only heard of by the presentinspired announcement.8. heardest not—repeated, as also "knewest not," from Isa 48:7.from that time—Omit "that." "Yea, from the first thine ear did not open itself," namely, toobey them [Rosenmuller]. "To open the ear" denotes obedient attention (Isa 50:5); or, "was not opened"to receive them; that is, they were not declared by Me to thee previously, since, if thou hadst beeninformed of them, such is thy perversity, thou couldst not have been kept in check [Maurer]. In theformer view, the sense of the words following is, "For I knew that, if I had not foretold the destructionof Babylon so plainly that there could be no perverting of it, thou wouldst have perversely ascribedit to idols, or something else than to Me" (Isa 48:5). Thus they would have relapsed into idolatry,to cure them of which the Babylonian captivity was sent: so they had done (Ex 32:4). After thereturn, and ever since, they have utterly forsaken idols.wast called—as thine appropriate appellation (Isa 9:6).from the womb—from the beginning of Israel's national existence (Isa 44:2).1194JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. refrain—literally, "muzzle"; His wrath, after the return, was to be restrained a while, andthen, because of their sins, let loose again (Ps 78:38).for thee—that is, mine anger towards thee.10. (See on Isa 1:25).with silver—rather, "for silver." I sought by affliction to purify thee, but thou wast not as silverobtained by melting, but as dross [Gesenius]. Thy repentance is not complete: thou art not yet asrefined silver. Rosenmuller explains, "not as silver," not with the intense heat needed to melt silver(it being harder to melt than gold), that is, not with the most extreme severity. The former view isbetter (Isa 1:25; 42:25; Eze 22:18-20, 22).chosen—or else [Lowth], tried … proved: according to Gesenius, literally, "to rub with thetouchstone," or to cut in pieces so as to examine (Zec 13:9; Mal 3:3; 1Pe 1:7).11. how should my name—Maurer, instead of "My name" from Isa 48:9, supplies "My glory"from the next clause; and translates, "How (shamefully) My glory has been profaned!" In EnglishVersion the sense is, "I will refrain (Isa 48:9, that is, not utterly destroy thee), for why should Ipermit My name to be polluted, which it would be, if the Lord utterly destroyed His elect people"(Eze 20:9)?not give my glory unto another—If God forsook His people for ever, the heathen wouldattribute their triumph over Israel to their idols; so God's glory would be given to another.12-15. The Almighty, who has founded heaven and earth, can, and will, restore His people.the first … last—(Isa 41:4; 44:6).13. spanned—measured out (Isa 40:12).when I call … stand up together—(Isa 40:26; Jer 33:25). But it is not their creation so muchwhich is meant, as that, like ministers of God, the heavens and the earth are prepared at His commandto execute His decrees (Ps 119:91) [Rosenmuller].14. among them—among the gods and astrologers of the Chaldees (Isa 41:22; 43:9; 44:7).Lord … loved him; he will, &c.—that is, "He whom the Lord hath loved will do," &c. [Lowth];namely, Cyrus (Isa 44:28; 45:1, 13; 46:11). However, Jehovah's language of love is too strong toapply to Cyrus, except as type of Messiah, to whom alone it fully applies (Re 5:2-5).his pleasure—not Cyrus' own, but Jehovah's.15. brought—led him on his way.he—change from the first to the third person [Barnes]. Jehovah shall make his (Cyrus') wayprosperous.16. not … in secret—(Isa 45:19). Jehovah foretold Cyrus' advent, not with the studied ambiguityof heathen oracles, but plainly.from the time, &c.—From the moment that the purpose began to be accomplished in the raisingup of Cyrus I was present.sent me—The prophet here speaks, claiming attention to his announcement as to Cyrus, on theground of his mission from God and His Spirit. But he speaks not in his own person so much as inthat of Messiah, to whom alone in the fullest sense the words apply (Isa 61:1; Joh 10:36). Plainly,Isa 49:1, which is the continuation of the forty-eighth chapter, from Isa 48:16, where the changeof speaker from God (Isa 48:1, 12-15) begins, is the language of Messiah. Lu 4:1, 14, 18, showsthat the Spirit combined with the Father in sending the Son: therefore "His Spirit" is nominative to"sent," not accusative, following it.1195JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. teacheth … to profit—by affliction, such as the Babylonish captivity, and the presentlong-continued dispersion of Israel (Heb 12:10).18. peace—(Ps 119:165). Compare the desire expressed by the same Messiah (Mt 23:37; Lu19:42).river—(Isa 33:21; 41:18), a river flowing from God's throne is the symbol of free, abundant,and ever flowing blessings from Him (Eze 47:1; Zec 14:8; Re 22:1).righteousness—religious prosperity; the parent of "peace" or national prosperity; therefore"peace" corresponds to "righteousness" in the parallelism (Isa 32:17).19. sand—retaining the metaphor of "the sea" (Isa 48:18).like the gravel thereof—rather, as the Hebrew, "like that (the offspring) of its (the sea's)bowels"; referring to the countless living creatures, fishes, &c., of the sea, rather than the gravel[Maurer]. Jerome, Chaldee, and Syriac support English Version.his name … cut off—transition from the second person, "thy," to the third "his." Israel's namewas cut off "as a nation" during the Babylonish captivity; also it is so now, to which the prophecyespecially looks (Ro 11:20).20. Go … forth … end of the earth—Primarily, a prophecy of their joyful deliverance fromBabylon, and a direction that they should leave it when God opened the way. But the publicationof it "to the ends of the earth" shows it has a more world-wide scope antitypically; Re 18:4 showsthat the mystical Babylon is ultimately meant.redeemed … Jacob—(Isa 43:1; 44:22, 23).21. Ezra, in describing the return, makes no mention of God cleaving the rock for them in thedesert [Kimchi]. The circumstances, therefore, of the deliverance from Egypt (Ex 17:6; Nu 20:11;Ps 78:15; 105:41) and of that from Babylon, are blended together; the language, while moreimmediately referring to the latter deliverance, yet, as being blended with circumstances of theformer not strictly applicable to the latter, cannot wholly refer to either, but to the mystic deliveranceof man under Messiah, and literally to the final restoration of Israel.22. Repeated (Isa 57:21). All the blessings just mentioned (Isa 48:21) belong only to the godly,not to the wicked. Israel shall first cast away its wicked unbelief before it shall inherit nationalprosperity (Zec 12:10-14; 13:1, 9; 14:3, 14, 20, 21). The sentiment holds good also as to all wickedmen (Job 15:20-25, 31-34).CHAPTER 49Isa 49:1-26. Similar to Chapter 42:1-7 (Isa 49:1-9).Messiah, as the ideal Israel (Isa 49:3), states the object of His mission, His want of success fora time, yet His certainty of ultimate success.1. O isles—Messiah is here regarded as having been rejected by the Jews (Isa 49:4, 5), and asnow turning to the Gentiles, to whom the Father hath given Him "for a light and salvation." "Isles"mean all regions beyond sea.from the womb—(Isa 44:2; Lu 1:31; Joh 10:36).from … bowels … mention of my name—His name "Jesus" (that is, God-Saviour) wasdesignated by God before His birth (Mt 1:21).1196JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. my mouth … sword—(Isa 11:4; Re 19:15). The double office of the Word of God, savingand damnatory, is implied (Isa 50:4; Joh 12:48; Heb 4:12).shaft—(Ps 45:5). "Polished," that is, free from all rust, implies His unsullied … quiver … hid me—Like a sword in its scabbard, or a shaft in the quiver, Messiah, beforeHis appearing, was hid with God, ready to be drawn forth at the moment God saw fit [Hengstenberg];also always protected by God, as the arrow by the quiver (Isa 51:16).3. Israel—applied to Messiah, according to the true import of the name, the Prince who hadpower with God in wrestling in behalf of man, and who prevails (Ge 32:28; Ho 12:3, 4). He is alsothe ideal Israel, the representative man of the nation (compare Mt 2:15 with Ho 11:1).in whom … glorified—(Joh 14:13; 17:1-5).4. I— vain—comparatively in the case of the greater number of His own countrymen. "He cameunto His own, and His own received Him not" (Isa 53:1-3; Lu 19:14; Joh 1:11; 7:5). Only a hundredtwenty disciples met after His personal ministry was ended (Ac 1:15).yet … my judgment … with the Lord—Ultimately, God will do justice to My cause, andreward (Margin for "work," compare Isa 40:10; 62:11) My labors and sufferings. He was never"discouraged" (Isa 42:4; 50:7, 10). He calmly, in spite of seeming ill success for the time, left theresult with God, confident of final triumph (Isa 53:10-12; 1Pe 2:23). So the ministers of Christ(1Co 4:1-5; 1Pe 4:19).5. The reason why He was confident that His work would be accepted and rewarded, namely,because He is "glorious in the eyes of Jehovah," & bring Jacob again to him—(Mt 15:24; Ac 3:26).Though Israel be not gathered—metaphor from a scattered flock which the shepherd gatherstogether again; or a hen and her chickens (Mt 23:37). Instead of the text "not," the Keri has thesimilar Hebrew word, "to Him," which the parallelism favors: "And that Israel may be gathered toHim."yet—rather, parenthetically. "For I am glorious, &c., and My God is My strength." Then (Isa49:6) resuming the words from the beginning of Isa 49:5, "He saith" (I repeat), &c. Horsley explains,"Notwithstanding the incredulity of the Jews, Messiah shall be glorified in the conversion of theGentiles," reading as English Version: but if the Keri be read, "Israel shall at one time or other begathered, notwithstanding their incredulity during Messiah's sojourn on earth."6. It is a light thing—"It is too little that Thou shouldest," [Hengstenberg], that is, It is not enoughhonor to Thee to raise up Jacob and Israel, but I design for Thee more, namely, that Thou shouldestbe the means of enlightening the Gentiles (Isa 42:6, 7; 60:3).the preserved—namely, those remaining after the judgments of God on the nation—the electremnant of Israel reserved for mercy. Lowth, with a slight but needless change of the Hebrew,translates for "tribes" and "preserved," the "scions"—the "branches."7. whom man despiseth—Hebrew, "the despised of soul," that is, by every soul, by all men(Isa 52:14, 15; 53:3; 50:6-9; Ps 22:6). Lowth translates, "whose person is despised."abhorreth—literally, "who is an abomination to the nation" (Lu 23:18-23). The Jewscontemptuously call Him always Tolvi, "the crucified." I prefer, on account of Goi, the Hebrewterm for nation being usually applied to the Gentiles, and that for people to the Jews (Ho 1:9; sothe Greek terms respectively also Laos and Ethne, Ro 9:25), to take "nation" here collectively forthe Gentile world, which also spurned Him (Ps 2:1-3; Ac 4:25-27).1197JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonservant of rulers—(Mt 17:27). He who would not exert His power against the rulers (Mt 26:52,53).shall see—namely the fulfilment of God's promises (Isa 49:3, 6), "when He (shall be) a lightto the Gentiles."arise—to reverence Thee (Ps 72:10, 11; Php 2:10).princes also—rather, for the parallelism, supply the ellipsis, thus, "Princes shall see and shallworship."faithful—namely, to His promises.choose thee—as God's elect (Isa 42:1).8. Messiah is represented as having asked for the grace of God in behalf of sinners; this versecontains God the Father's favorable acceptable time—"In a time of grace" [Hengstenberg]. A limited time (Isa 61:2; 2Co 6:2).The time judged by God to be the best fitted for effecting the purposes of His grace by Messiah.heard thee—(Ps 2:8; Heb 5:7).day of salvation—when "the fulness of time" (Ga 4:4) shall have come. The day of salvationis "to-day" (Heb 4:7).helped—given Thee the help needed to enable Thee, as man, to accomplish man's salvation.preserve—from the assaults and efforts of Satan, to divert Thee from Thy voluntary death tosave man.covenant of the people—(See on Isa 42:6). "The people," in the singular, is always appliedexclusively to Israel.establish the earth—rather, "to restore the land," namely, Canaan to Israel. Spiritually, therestoration of the Church (the spiritual Israel) to the heavenly land forfeited by man's sin is alsoincluded.cause to inherit … desolate heritages—image from the desolate state of Judea during theBabylonish captivity. Spiritually, the Gentile world, a moral waste, shall become a garden of theLord. Literally, Judea lying desolate for ages shall be possessed again by Israel (compare Isa 61:7,"in their land"). Jesus, the antitype of, and bearing the same name as Joshua (Heb 4:8), shall, likehim, divide the land among its true heirs (Isa 54:3; 61:4).9. (Isa 42:7; Zec 9:12).prisoners—the Jews bound in legal bondage.them … in darkness—the Gentiles having no light as to the one true God [Vitringa].Show yourselves—not only see but be seen (Mt 5:16; Mr 5:19). Come forth from the darknessof your prison into the light of the Sun of the ways, &c.—In a desert there are no "ways," nor "high places," with "pastures"; thus thesense is: "They shall have their pastures, not in deserts, but in cultivated and inhabited places."Laying aside the figure, the churches of Christ at the first shall be gathered, not in obscure andunknown regions, but in the most populous parts of the Roman empire, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome,&c. [Vitringa]. Another sense probably is the right one. Israel, on its way back to the Holy Land,shall not have to turn aside to devious paths in search of necessaries, but shall find them in allplaces wherever their route lies; so Rosenmuller. God will supply them as if He should make the grassgrow in the trodden ways and on the barren high places.1198JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson10. Messiah will abundantly satisfy all the wants, both of literal Israel on their way to Palestine,and of the spiritual on their way to heaven, as their Shepherd (Isa 65:13; Mt 5:6), also in heaven(Re 7:16, 17).11. my—All things are God's.mountains a way—I will remove all obstructions out of the way (Isa 40:4).exalted—that is, cast up (Isa 57:14; 62:10); for instance, over valleys. Vitringa explains"mountains" as great kingdoms, Egypt, Syria, &c., subjected to Rome, to facilitate the spreadingof the Gospel; "highways," the Christian doctrine wherein those who join the Church walk, andwhich, at the time of Constantine, was to be raised into prominence before all, and publicly protected(Isa 35:8, 9).12. Sinim—The Arabians and other Asiatics called China Sin, or Tchin; the Chinese had nospecial name for themselves, but either adopted that of the reigning dynasty or some high-soundingtitles. This view of "Sinim" suits the context which requires a people to be meant "from far," anddistinct from those "from the north and from the west" [Gesenius].13. So Re 12:12. God will have mercy on the afflicted, because of His compassion; on Hisafflicted, because of His covenant.14. Zion—the literal Israel's complaint, as if God had forsaken her in the Babylonian captivity;also in their dispersion previous to their future restoration; thereby God's mercy shall be calledforth (Isa 63:15-19; Ps 77:9, 10; 102:17).15. (Isa 44:21; Ps 103:13; Mt 7:11).16. Alluding to the Jews' custom (perhaps drawn from Ex 13:9) of puncturing on their hands arepresentation of their city and temple, in token of zeal for them [Lowth], (So 8:6).17. Thy children—Israel (Isa 49:20, 21; Isa 43:6). Jerome reads, for "Thy children," "Thybuilders"; they that destroyed thee shall hasten to build thee.haste—to rebuild thy desolate capital.shall go forth—Thy destroyers shall leave Judea to Israel in undisturbed possession.18. As Zion is often compared to a bride (Isa 54:5), so the accession of converts is like bridalornaments ("jewels," Isa 62:3; Mal 3:17). Her literal children are, however, more immediatelymeant, as the context refers to their restoration; and only secondarily to her spiritual children byconversion to Christ. Israel shall be the means of the final complete conversion of the nations (Mic5:7; Ro 11:12, 15).as a bride—namely, binds on her ornaments.19. land of thy destruction—thy land once the scene of destruction.too narrow—(Isa 54:1, 2; Zec 10:10).20. children … after … other—rather, "the children of thy widowhood," that is, the childrenof whom thou hast been bereft during their dispersion in other lands (see on Isa 47:8) [Maurer].again—rather, "yet."give place—rather, "stand close to me," namely, in order that we may be the more able to dwellin in the narrow place [Horsley]. Compare as to Israel's spiritual children, and the extension of thegospel sphere, Ro 15:19, 24; 2Co 10:14-16. But Isa 49:22 (compare Isa 66:20) shows that her literalchildren are primarily meant. Gesenius translates, "Make room."21. Who, &c.—Zion's joyful wonder at the unexpected restoration of the ten tribes. Secondarily,the accession of spiritual Israelites to the mother church of Jerusalem from the Gentiles is meant.This created surprise at first (Ac 10:45; 14:27; 15:3, 4).1199JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonlost … am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro—rather, "bereaved of … have beenbarren, an exile and outcast" [Horsley]. She had been "put away" by Jehovah, her husband (Isa 50:1);hence her wonder at the children begotten to her.22. lift … hand—that is, beckon to (see on Isa 13:2).standard—(Isa 11:12).bring … sons in … arms—The Gentiles shall aid in restoring Israel to its own land (Isa 60:4;66:20). Children able to support themselves are carried on the shoulders in the East; but infants, inthe arms, or astride on one haunch (Isa 60:12). "Thy sons" must be distinct from "the Gentiles,"who carry them; and therefore cannot primarily refer to converts among the Gentiles.23. lick … dust—that is, kiss thy feet in token of humble submission.for they … not … ashamed … wait for me—The restoration of Israel shall be in answer totheir prayerful waiting on the Lord (Isa 30:18, 19; Ps 102:16, 17; Zec 12:10; 14:3).24. the prey—Israel, long a prey to mighty Gentile nations, whose oppression of her shall reachits highest point under Antichrist (Da 11:36, 37, 41, 45).lawful captive—the Jews justly consigned for their sins (Isa 50:1) as captives to the foe.Secondarily, Satan and Death are "the mighty" conquerors of man, upon whom his sin give themtheir "lawful" claim. Christ answers that claim for the sinners, and so the captive is set free (Job19:25; 14:14; Mt 12:29; Ho 6:2, where Isa 49:4 shows the primary reference is to Israel's restoration,to which the resurrection corresponds; Isa 26:19; Eph 4:8; Heb 2:14, 15). Others not so welltranslate, "the captives taken from among the just Israelites."25. (Isa 53:12; Ps 68:18; Col 2:15).contend with him, &c.—(Isa 54:17).26. feed … own flesh—a phrase for internal strifes (Isa 9:20).own blood—a just retribution for their having shed the blood of God's servants (Re 16:6).sweet wine—that is, must, or new wine, the pure juice which flows from the heap of grapesbefore they are pressed; the ancients could preserve it for a long time, so as to retain its flavor. Itwas so mild that it required a large quantity to intoxicate; thus the idea here is that very much bloodwould be shed (Re 14:10, 20).all flesh shall, &c.—the effect on the world of God's judgments (Isa 66:15, 16, 18, 19; Re 15:3,4).CHAPTER 50Isa 50:1-11. The Judgments on Israel Were Provoked by Their Crimes, yet They Are Not Finally Cast Off by God.1. Where … mothers divorcement—Zion is "the mother"; the Jews are the children; and Godthe Husband and Father (Isa 54:5; 62:5; Jer 3:14). Gesenius thinks that God means by the questionto deny that He had given "a bill of divorcement" to her, as was often done on slight pretexts by ahusband (De 24:1), or that He had "sold" His and her "children," as a poor parent sometimes did(Ex 21:7; 2Ki 4:1; Ne 5:5) under pressure of his "creditors"; that it was they who sold themselvesthrough their own sins. Maurer explains, "Show the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom … ;produce the creditors to whom ye have been sold; so it will be seen that it was not from any capriceof Mine, but through your own fault, your mother has been put away, and you sold" (Isa 52:3).Horsley best explains (as the antithesis between "I" and "yourselves" shows, though Lowth translates,1200JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"Ye are sold") I have never given your mother a regular bill of divorcement; I have merely "puther away" for a time, and can, therefore, by right as her husband still take her back on her submission;I have not made you, the children, over to any "creditor" to satisfy a debt; I therefore still have theright of a father over you, and can take you back on repentance, though as rebellious children youhave sold yourselves to sin and its penalty (1Ki 21:25).bill … whom—rather, "the bill with which I have put her away" [Maurer].2. I— man—willing to believe in and obey Me (Isa 52:1, 3). The same Divine Person had "come"by His prophets in the Old Testament (appealing to them, but in vain, Jer 7:25, 26), who was aboutto come under the New Testament.hand shortened—the Oriental emblem of weakness, as the long stretched-out hand is of power(Isa 59:1). Notwithstanding your sins, I can still "redeem" you from your bondage and dispersion.dry up … sea—(Ex 14:21). The second exodus shall exceed, while it resembles in wonders,the first (Isa 11:11, 15; 51:15).make … rivers … wilderness—turn the prosperity of Israel's foes into stinketh—the very judgment inflicted on their Egyptian enemies at the first exodus (Ex7:18, 21).3. heavens … blackness—another of the judgments on Egypt to be repeated hereafter on thelast enemy of God's people (Ex 10:21).sackcloth—(Re 6:12).4. Messiah, as "the servant of Jehovah" (Isa 42:1), declares that the office has been assigned toHim of encouraging the "weary" exiles of Israel by "words in season" suited to their case; and that,whatever suffering it is to cost Himself, He does not shrink from it (Isa 50:5, 6), for that He knowsHis cause will triumph at last (Isa 50:7, 8).learned—not in mere human learning, but in divinely taught modes of instruction and eloquence(Isa 49:2; Ex 4:11; Mt 7:28, 29; 13:54).speak a word in season—(Pr 15:23; 25:11). Literally, "to succor by words," namely, in theirseason of need, the "weary" dispersed ones of Israel (De 28:65-67). Also, the spiritual "weary" (Isa42:3; Mt 11:28).wakeneth morning by morning, &c.—Compare "daily rising up early" (Jer 7:25; Mr 1:35).The image is drawn from a master wakening his pupils early for instruction.wakeneth … ear—prepares me for receiving His divine the learned—as one taught by Him. He "learned obedience," experimentally, "by the thingswhich He suffered"; thus gaining that practical learning which adapted Him for "speaking a wordin season" to suffering men (Heb 5:8).5. opened … ear—(See on Isa 42:20; Isa 48:8); that is, hath made me obediently attentive (butMaurer, "hath informed me of my duty"), as a servant to his master (compare Ps 40:6-8, with Php2:7; Isa 42:1; 49:3, 6; 52:13; 53:11; Mt 20:28; Lu 22:27).not rebellious—but, on the contrary, most willing to do the Father's will in proclaiming andprocuring salvation for man, at the cost of His own sufferings (Heb 10:5-10).6. smiters—with scourges and with the open hand (Isa 52:14; Mr 14:65). Literally fulfilled(Mt 27:26; 26:27; Lu 18:33). To "pluck the hair" is the highest insult that can be offered an Oriental(2Sa 10:4; La 3:30). "I gave" implies the voluntary nature of His sufferings; His example correspondsto His precept (Mt 5:39).1201JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonspitting—To spit in another's presence is an insult in the East, much more on one; most of allin the face (Job 30:10; Mt 27:30; Lu 18:32).7. Sample of His not being "discouraged" (Isa 42:4; 49:5).set … face like … flint—set Myself resolutely, not to be daunted from My work of love byshame or suffering (Eze 3:8, 9).8. (Isa 49:4). The believer, by virtue of his oneness with Christ, uses the same language (Ps138:8; Ro 8:32-34). But "justify" in His case, is God's judicial acceptance and vindication of Himon the ground of His own righteousness (Lu 23:44-47; Ro 1:4; 1Ti 3:16, with which compare 1Pe3:18); in their case, on the ground of His righteousness and meritorious death imputed to them (Ro5:19).stand together—in judgment, to try the issue.adversary—literally, "master of my cause," that is, who has real ground of accusation againstme, so that he can demand judgment to be given in his favor (compare Zec 3:1, &c. Re 12:10).9. (Compare "deal," or "proper," Isa 52:13, Margin; Isa 53:10; Ps 118:6; Jer 23:5).as a garment—(Isa 51:6, 8; Ps 102:26). A leading constituent of wealth in the East is changeof raiment, which is always liable to the inroads of the moth; hence the frequency of the image inScripture.10. Messiah exhorts the godly after His example (Isa 49:4, 5; 42:4) when in circumstances oftrial ("darkness," Isa 47:5), to trust in the arm of Jehovah alone.Who is, &c.—that is, Whosoever (Jud 7:3).obeyeth … servant—namely, Messiah. The godly "honor the Son, even as they honor theFather" (Joh 5:23).darkness—(Mic 7:8, 9). God never had a son who was not sometimes in the dark. For evenChrist, His only Son, cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"light—rather, "splendor"; bright sunshine; for the servant of God is never wholly without "light"[Vitringa]. A godly man's way may be dark, but his end shall be peace and light. A wicked man'sway may be bright, but his end shall be utter darkness (Ps 112:4; 97:11; 37:24).let him trust in the name of the Lord—as Messiah did (Isa 50:8, 9).11. In contrast to the godly (Isa 50:10), the wicked, in times of darkness, instead of trusting inGod, trust in themselves (kindle a light for themselves to walk by) (Ec 11:9). The image is continuedfrom Isa 50:10, "darkness"; human devices for salvation (Pr 19:21; 16:9, 25) are like the spark thatgoes out in an instant in darkness (compare Job 18:6; 21:17, with Ps 18:28).sparks—not a steady light, but blazing sparks extinguished in a moment.walk—not a command, but implying that as surely as they would do so, they should lie downin sorrow (Jer 3:25). In exact proportion to mystic Babylon's previous "glorifying" of herself shallbe her sorrow (Mt 25:30; 8:12; Re 18:7).CHAPTER 51Isa 51:1-23. Encouragement to the Faithful Remnant of Israel to Trust in God for Deliverance, Both from TheirLong Babylonian Exile, and from Their Present Dispersion.1. me—the God of your fathers.1202JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonye … follow after righteousness—the godly portion of the nation; Isa 51:7 shows this (Pr 15:9;1Ti 6:11). "Ye follow righteousness," seek it therefore from Me, who "bring it near," and that arighteousness "not about to be abolished" (Isa 51:6, 7); look to Abraham, your father (Isa 51:2), asa sample of how righteousness before Me is to be obtained; I, the same God who blessed him, willbless you at last (Isa 51:3); therefore trust in Me, and fear not man's opposition (Isa 51:7, 8, 12,13). The mistake of the Jews, heretofore, has been, not in that they "followed after righteousness,"but in that they followed it "by the works of the law," instead of "by faith," as Abraham did (Ro9:31, 32; 10:3, 4; 4:2-5).hole of … pit—The idea is not, as it is often quoted, the inculcation of humility, by remindingmen of the fallen state from which they have been taken, but that as Abraham, the quarry, as itwere (compare Isa 48:1), whence their nation was hewn, had been called out of a strange land tothe inheritance of Canaan, and blessed by God, the same God is able to deliver and restore themalso (compare Mt 3:9).2. alone—translate, "I called him when he was but one" (Eze 33:24). The argument is: the sameGod who had so blessed "one" individual, as to become a mighty nation (Ge 12:1; 22:7), can alsoincrease and bless the small remnant of Israel, both that left in the Babylonish captivity, and thatleft in the present and latter days (Zec 14:2); "the residue" (Isa 13:8, 9).3. For—See for the argument, see on Isa 51:2.the garden of the Lord—restoration of the primeval paradise (Ge 2:8; Eze 28:13; Re 2:7).melody—Hebrew, "psalm." God's praises shall again be heard.4. my people—the Jews. This reading is better than that of Gesenius: "O peoples … nations,"namely, the Gentiles. The Jews are called on to hear and rejoice in the extension of the true religionto the nations; for, at the first preaching of the Gospel, as in the final age to come, it was fromJerusalem that the gospel law was, and is, to go forth (Isa 2:3).law … judgment—the gospel dispensation and institutions (Isa 42:1, "judgment").make … to rest—establish firmly; found.light, &c.—(Isa 42:6).5. righteousness … near—that is, faithful fulfilment of the promised deliverance, answeringto "salvation" in the parallel clause (Isa 46:13; 56:1; Ro 10:8, 9). Ye follow after "righteousness";seek it therefore, from Me, and you will not have far to go for it (Isa 51:1).arms—put for Himself; I by My might.judge—(Isa 2:3, 4; Ps 98:9).isles, &c.—(Isa 60:9).arm—(Ro 1:16), "the power of God unto (the Gentiles as well as the Jews) salvation."6. (Isa 40:6, 8; Ps 102:26; Heb 1:11, 12).vanish away—literally, "shall be torn asunder," as a garment [Maurer]; which accords with like manner—But Gesenius, "Like a gnat"; like the smallest and vilest insect. Jerome translates,as English Version, and infers that "in like manner" as man, the heavens (that is, the sky) and earthare not to be annihilated, but changed for the better (Isa 65:17).righteousness—My faithfully fulfilled promise (see on Isa 51:5).7. know righteousness—(See on Isa 51:1).8. (See on Isa 50:9; Job 4:18-20). Not that the moth eats men up, but they shall be destroyedby as insignificant instrumentality as the moth that eats a garment.1203JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. Impassioned prayer of the exiled Jews.ancient days—(Ps 44:1).Rahab—poetical name for Egypt (see on Isa 30:7).dragon—Hebrew, tannin. The crocodile, an emblem of Egypt, as represented on coins struckafter the conquest of Egypt by Augustus; or rather here, "its king," Pharaoh (see on Isa 27:1; Ps74:13, 14; Eze 32:2, Margin; Eze 29:3).10. it—the arm.Art not Thou the same Almighty power that … ? dried the sea—the Red Sea (Isa 43:16;Ex 14:21).11. (Isa 35:10).Therefore—assurance of faith; or else the answer of Jehovah corresponding to their prayer.As surely as God redeemed Israel out of Egypt, He shall redeem them from Babylon, both the literalin the age following, and mystical in the last ages (Re 18:20, 21). There shall be a second exodus(Isa 11:11-16; 27:12, 13).singing—image from the custom of singing on a journey when a caravan is passing along theextended plains in the East.everlasting joy—(Jude 24).sorrow … flee away—(Re 21:4).12. comforteth—(Isa 51:3; Isa 40:1).thou—Zion.son of man—frail and dying as his parent made as grass—wither as grass (Isa 40:6, 7).13. (Isa 40:12, 26, 28), the same argument of comfort drawn from the omnipotence of if … ready, &c.—literally, "when he directs," namely, his arrow, to destroy (Ps 21:12; 7:13;11:2) [Maurer].14. captive exile—literally, one bowed down as a captive (Isa 10:4) [Maurer]. The scene isprimarily Babylon, and the time near the close of the captivity. Secondarily, and antitypically, themystical Babylon, the last enemy of Israel and the Church, in which they have long suffered, butfrom which they are to be gloriously delivered.pit—such as were many of the ancient dungeons (compare Jer 38:6, 11, 13; Ge 37:20).nor … bread … fail—(Isa 33:16; Jer 37:21).15. divided … sea—the Red Sea. The same Hebrew word as "make to rest" (Isa 51:4). Rather,"that terrify the sea," that is, restrain it by My rebuke, "when its waves roar" [Gesenius]. The Hebrewfavors Maurer, "that terrify the sea so that the waves roar." The sense favors Gesenius (Jer 5:22; 31:35),or English Version (Isa 51:9, 10, which favors the special reference to the exodus from Egypt).16. Addressed to Israel, embodied in "the servant of Jehovah" (Isa 42:1), Messiah, its ideal andrepresentative Head, through whom the elect remnant is to be restored.put my words in thy mouth—true of Israel, the depository of true religion, but fully realizedonly in Israel's Head and antitype, Messiah (Isa 49:2; 50:4, 5; 59:21; De 18:18; Joh 3:34).covered … in … shadow of … hand—protected thee (see on Isa 49:2).plant—rather, "fix" as a tabernacle; so it ought to be rendered (Da 11:45). The "new creation,"now going on in the spiritual world by the Gospel (Eph 2:10), and hereafter to be extended to thevisible world, is meant (Isa 65:17; 66:22; compare Isa 13:13; 2Pe 3:10-13).1204JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonZion—Its restoration is a leading part in the new creation to come (Isa 65:17, 19).17. Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, &c.—(Isa 52:1).drunk—Jehovah's wrath is compared to an intoxicating draught because it confounds thesufferer under it, and makes him fall (Job 21:20; Ps 60:3; 75:8; Jer 25:15, 16; 49:12; Zec 12:2; Re14:10); ("poured out without mixture"; rather, "the pure wine juice mixed with intoxicating drugs").of trembling—which produced trembling or intoxication.wrung … out—drained the last drop out; the dregs were the sediments from various substances,as honey, dates, and drugs, put into the wine to increase the strength and sweetness.18. Following up the image in Isa 51:17, intoxicated and confused by the cup of God's anger,she has none to guide her in her helpless state; she has not yet awakened out of the sleep causedby that draught. This cannot apply to the Babylonish captivity; for in it they had Ezekiel and Daniel,Ezra and Nehemiah, as "guides," and soon awoke out of that sleep; but it applies to the Jews now,and will be still more applicable in their coming oppression by Antichrist.19. two—classes of evils, for he enumerates four, namely, desolation and destruction to theland and state; famine and the sword to the people.who shall be sorry for thee—so as to give thee effectual relief: as the parallel clause, "Bywhom shall I comfort thee?" shows (La 2:11-13).20. head of all … streets—(La 2:19; 4:1).wild bull—rather, "oryx" [Jerome], or gazelle [Gesenius], or wild goat [Bochart]; commonly in theEast taken in a net, of a wide sweep, into which the beasts were hunted together. The streets ofcities in the East often have gates, which are closed at night; a person wishing to escape would bestopped by them and caught, as a wild animal in a net.21. drunken … not with wine—(Isa 29:9; compare Isa 51:17, 20, here; La 3:15).22. pleadeth … cause—(Ps 35:1; Jer 50:34; Mic 7:9).no more drink it—(Isa 54:7-9). This cannot apply to Israel after the return from Babylon, butonly to them after their final restoration.23. (Isa 49:26; Jer 25:15-29; Zec 12:2).Bow down that … go over—Conquerors often literally trod on the necks of conquered kings,as Sapor of Persia did to the Roman emperor Valerian (Jos 10:24; Ps 18:40; 66:11, 12).CHAPTER 52Isa 52:1-15. First through Thirteen Verses Connected with Fifty-first Chapter.Zion long in bondage (Isa 51:17-20) is called to put on beautiful garments appropriate to itsfuture prosperity.1. strength—as thy adornment; answering to "beautiful garments" in the parallel clause. Arousethyself from dejection and assume confidence.the holy city—(Ne 11:1; Re 21:2).no more … unclean—(Isa 35:8; 60:21; Joe 3:17; Re 21:27). A prophecy never yet fulfilled.uncircumcised—spiritually (Eze 44:9; Ac 7:51).2. from the dust—the seat of mourners (Job 2:12, 13).1205JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonarise, and sit—namely, in a more dignified place: on a divan or a throne [Lowth], after havingshaken off the dust gathered up by the flowing dress when seated on the ground; or simply, "Arise,and sit erect" [Maurer].bands of … neck—the yoke of thy captivity.3. As you became your foes' servants, without their paying any price for you (Jer 15:13), sothey shall release you without demanding any price or reward (Isa 45:13), (where Cyrus isrepresented as doing so: a type of their final restoration gratuitously in like manner). So the spiritualIsrael, "sold under sin," gratuitously (Ro 7:14), shall be redeemed also gratuitously (Isa 55:1).4. My people—Jacob and his sons.went down—Judea was an elevated country compared with Egypt.sojourn—They went there to stay only till the famine in Canaan should have ceased.Assyrian—Sennacherib. Remember how I delivered you from Egypt and the Assyrian; what,then, is to prevent Me from delivering you out of Babylon (and the mystical Babylon and theAntichrist in the last days)?without cause—answering to "for naught" in Isa 52:5; it was an act of gratuitous oppressionin the present case, as in that case.5. what have I here—that is, what am I called on to do? The fact "that My people is takenaway (into captivity; Isa 49:24, 25) for naught" (by gratuitous oppression, Isa 52:4; also Isa 52:3,and see on Isa 52:3) demands My interposition.they that rule—or "tyrannize," namely, Babylon, literal and mystical.make … to howl—or, raise a cry of exultation over them [Maurer].blasphemed—namely, in Babylon: God's reason for delivering His people, not their goodness,but for the sake of His holy name (Eze 20:9, 14).6. shall know in that day—when Christ shall reveal Himself to Israel sensibly; the only meanswhereby their obstinate unbelief shall be overcome (Ps 102:16; Zec 12:10; 14:5).7. beautiful … feet—that is, The advent of such a herald seen on the distant "mountains" (seeon Isa 40:9; Isa 41:27; Isa 25:6, 7; So 2:17) running in haste with the long-expected good tidings,is most grateful to the desolated city (Na 1:15).good tidings—only partially applying to the return from Babylon. Fully, and antitypically, theGospel (Lu 2:10, 11), "beginning at Jerusalem" (Lu 24:47), "the city of the great King" (Mt 5:35),where Messiah shall, at the final restoration of Israel, "reign" as peculiarly Zion's God ("Thy Godreigneth"; compare Ps 2:6).8. watchmen—set on towers separated by intervals to give the earliest notice of the approachof any messenger with tidings (compare Isa 21:6-8). The Hebrew is more forcible than EnglishVersion, "The voice of thy watchmen" (exclamatory as in So 2:8). "They lift up their voice! togetherthey sing."eye to eye—that is, close at hand, and so clearly [Gesenius]; Nu 14:14, "face to face"; Nu 12:8,"mouth to mouth." Compare 1Co 13:12; Re 22:4, of which Simeon's sight of the Saviour was aprefiguration (Lu 2:30). The watchmen, spiritually, are ministers and others who pray for the peaceof Jerusalem (Isa 62:6, 7),bring again—that is, restore. Or else, "return to" [Maurer].9. (Isa 14:7, 8; 42:11).redeemed—spiritually and nationally (Isa 48:20).10. made bare … arm—metaphor from warriors who bare their arm for battle (Eze 4:7).1206JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonall … earth … see … salvation of … God—The deliverance wrought by God for Israel willcause all nations to acknowledge the Lord (Isa 66:18-20). The partial fulfilment (Lu 3:6) is aforerunner of the future complete fulfilment.11. (Isa 48:20; Zec 2:6, 7). Long residence in Babylon made many loath to leave it: so as tomystical Babylon (Re 18:4).ye … that bear … vessels of the Lord—the priests and Levites, whose office it was to carrythe vessels of the temple (Jer 27:18). Nebuchadnezzar had carried them to Babylon (2Ch 36:18).Cyrus restored them (Ezr 1:7-11).be … clean—by separating yourselves wholly from Babylonian idolaters, mystical and literal.12. not … with haste—as when ye left Egypt (Ex 12:33, 39; De 16:3; compare Note, see onIsa 28:16). Ye shall have time to cleanse yourselves and make deliberate preparation for departure.Lord—Jehovah, as your Leader in front (Isa 40:3; Ex 23:20; Mic 2:13).rereward—literally, "gather up," that is, to bring up the rear of your host. The transition isfrequent from the glory of Messiah in His advent to reign, to His humiliation in His advent to suffer.Indeed, so are both advents accounted one, that He is not said, in His second coming, to be aboutto return, but to come.13. Here the fifty-third chapter ought to begin, and the fifty-second chapter end with Isa 52:12.This section, from here to end of the fifty-third chapter settles the controversy with the Jews, ifMessiah be the person meant; and with infidels, if written by Isaiah, or at any time before Christ.The correspondence with the life and death of Jesus Christ is so minute, that it could not haveresulted from conjecture or accident. An impostor could not have shaped the course of events soas to have made his character and life appear to be a fulfilment of it. The writing is, moreover,declaredly prophetic. The quotations of it in the New Testament show: (1) that it was, before thetime of Jesus, a recognized part of the Old Testament; (2) that it refers to Messiah (Mt 8:17; Mr15:28; Lu 22:37; Joh 12:38; Ac 8:28-35; Ro 10:16; 1Pe 2:21-25). The indirect allusions to it stillmore clearly prove the Messianic interpretation; so universal was that interpretation, that it is simplyreferred to in connection with the atoning virtue of His death, without being formally quoted (Mr9:12; Ro 4:25; 1Co 15:3; 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 1:19; 2:21-25; 1Jo 3:5). The genuineness of the passageis certain; for the Jews would not have forged it, since it is opposed to their notion of Messiah, asa triumphant temporal prince. The Christians could not have forged it; for the Jews, the enemiesof Christianity, are "our librarians" [Paley]. The Jews try to evade its force by the figment of twoMessiahs, one a suffering Messiah (Ben Joseph), the other a triumphant Messiah (Ben David). Hillelmaintained that Messiah has already come in the person of Hezekiah. Buxtorf states that many ofthe modern Rabbins believe that He has been come a good while, but will not manifest Himselfbecause of the sins of the Jews. But the ancient Jews, as the Chaldee paraphrast, Jonathan, refer itto Messiah; so the Medrasch Tauchuma (a commentary on the Pentateuch); also Rabbi MosesHaddarschan (see Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament). Some explain it of the Jewishpeople, either in the Babylonish exile, or in their present sufferings and dispersion. Others, thepious portion of the nation taken collectively, whose sufferings made a vicarious satisfaction forthe ungodly. Others, Isaiah, or Jeremiah [Gesenius], the prophets collectively. But an individual isplainly described: he suffers voluntarily, innocently, patiently, and as the efficient cause of therighteousness of His people, which holds good of none other but Messiah (Isa 53:4-6, 9, 11; contrastJer 20:7; 15:10-21; Ps 137:8, 9). Isa 53:9 can hold good of none other. The objection that thesufferings (Isa 53:1-10) referred to are represented as past, the glorification alone as future (Isa1207JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson52:13-15; 53:11, 12) arises from not seeing that the prophet takes his stand in the midst of the sceneswhich he describes as future. The greater nearness of the first advent, and the interval between itand the second, are implied by the use of the past tense as to the first, the future as to the second.Behold—awakening attention to the striking picture of Messiah that follows (compare Joh19:5, 14).my servant—Messiah (Isa 42:1).deal prudently—rather, "prosper" [Gesenius] as the parallel clause favors (Isa 53:10). Or, unitingboth meanings, "shall reign well" [Hengstenberg]. This verse sets forth in the beginning the ultimateissue of His sufferings, the description of which follows: the conclusion (Isa 53:12) corresponds;the section (Isa 52:13; 53:12) begins as it ends with His final glory.extolled—elevated (Mr 16:19; Eph 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22).14, 15. Summary of Messiah's history, which is set forth more in detail in the fifty-third chapter."Just as many were astonished (accompanied with aversion, Jer 18:16; 19:8), &c.; his visage, &c.;so shall He sprinkle," &c.; Israel in this answers to its antitype Messiah, now "an astonishment andbyword" (De 28:37), hereafter about to be a blessing and means of salvation to many nations (Isa2:2, 3; Mic 5:7).thee; his—Such changes of persons are common in Hebrew poetry.marred—Hebrew, "disfigurement"; abstract for concrete; not only disfigured, but disfigurementitself.more than man—Castalio translates, "so that it was no longer that of a man" (compare Ps 22:6).The more perfect we may suppose the "body prepared" (Heb 10:5) for Him by God, the sadder bycontrast was the "marring" of His visage and form.15. sprinkle many—Gesenius, for the antithesis to "be astonished," translates, "shall cause …to exult." But the word universally in the Old Testament means either to sprinkle with blood, asthe high priest makes an expiation (Le 4:6; 16:18, 19); or with water, to purify (Eze 36:25; compareas to the Spirit, Ac 2:33), both appropriate to Messiah (Joh 13:8; Heb 9:13, 14; 10:22; 12:24; 1Pe1:2). The antithesis is sufficient without any forced rendering. Many were astonished; so many (notmerely men, but) nations shall be sprinkled. They were amazed at such an abject person claimingto be Messiah; yet it is He who shall justify and purify. Men were dumb with the amazement ofscorn at one marred more than the lowest of men, yet the highest: even kings (Isa 49:7, 23) shallbe dumb with awe and veneration ("shut … mouths"; Job 29:9, 10; Mic 7:16).that … not … told them—the reason why kings shall so venerate them; the wonders ofredemption, which had not been before told them, shall then be announced to them, wonders suchas they had never heard or seen parallelled (Isa 55:1; Ro 15:21; 16:25, 26).CHAPTER 53Isa 53:1-12. Man's Unbelief: Messiah's Vicarious Sufferings, and Final Triumph for Man.The speaker, according to Horsley, personates the repenting Jews in the latter ages of the worldcoming over to the faith of the Redeemer; the whole is their penitent confession. This view suitsthe context (Isa 52:7-9), which is not to be fully realized until Israel is restored. However, primarily,it is the abrupt exclamation of the prophet: "Who hath believed our report," that of Isaiah and theother prophets, as to Messiah? The infidel's objection from the unbelief of the Jews is anticipated1208JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand hereby answered: that unbelief and the cause of it (Messiah's humiliation, whereas they lookedfor One coming to reign) were foreseen and foretold.1. report—literally, "the thing heard," referring to which sense Paul says, "So, then, faithcometh by hearing" (Ro 10:16, 17).arm—power (Isa 40:10); exercised in miracles and in saving men (Ro 1:16; 1Co 1:18). Theprophet, as if present during Messiah's ministry on earth, is deeply moved to see how few believedon Him (Isa 49:4; Mr 6:6; 9:19; Ac 1:15). Two reasons are given why all ought to have believed:(1) The "report" of the "ancient prophets." (2) "The arm of Jehovah" exhibited in Messiah whileon earth. In Horsley's view, this will be the penitent confession of the Jews, "How few of our nation,in Messiah's days, believed in Him!"2. tender plant—Messiah grew silently and insensibly, as a sucker from an ancient stock,seemingly dead (namely, the house of David, then in a decayed state) (see on Isa 11:1).shall grow … hath—rather, "grew up … had."before him—before Jehovah. Though unknown to the world (Joh 1:11), Messiah was observedby God, who ordered the most minute circumstances attending His growth.root—that is, sprout from a root.form—beautiful form: sorrow had marred His once beautiful form.and when we shall see—rather, joined with the previous words, "Nor comeliness (attractiveness)that we should look (with delight) on Him."there is—rather, "was." The studied reticence of the New Testament as to His form, stature,color, &c., was designed to prevent our dwelling on the bodily, rather than on His moral beauty,holiness, love, &c., also a providential protest against the making and veneration of images of Him.The letter of P. Lentulus to the emperor Tiberius, describing His person, is spurious; so also the storyof His sending His portrait to Abgar, king of Edessa; and the alleged impression of His countenanceon the handkerchief of Veronica. The former part of this verse refers to His birth and childhood;the latter to His first public appearance [Vitringa].3. rejected—"forsaken of men" [Gesenius]. "Most abject of men." Literally, "He who ceasesfrom men," that is, is no longer regarded as a man [Hengstenberg]. (See on Isa 52:14; Isa 49:7).man of sorrows—that is, whose distinguishing characteristic was sorrows.acquainted with—familiar by constant contact with.grief—literally, "disease"; figuratively for all kinds of calamity (Jer 6:14); leprosy especiallyrepresented this, being a direct judgment from God. It is remarkable Jesus is not mentioned ashaving ever suffered under sickness.and we hid … faces—rather, as one who causes men to hide their faces from Him (in aversion)[Maurer]. Or, "He was as an hiding of the face before it," that is, as a thing before which a man covershis face in disgust [Hengstenberg]. Or, "as one before whom is the covering of the face"; before whomone covers the face in disgust [Gesenius].we—the prophet identifying himself with the Jews. See Horsley's view (see on Isa 53:1).esteemed … not—negative contempt; the previous words express positive.4. Surely … our griefs—literally, "But yet He hath taken (or borne) our sicknesses," that is,they who despised Him because of His human infirmities ought rather to have esteemed Him onaccount of them; for thereby "Himself took OUR infirmities" (bodily diseases). So Mt 8:17 quotesit. In the Hebrew for "borne," or took, there is probably the double notion, He took on Himselfvicariously (so Isa 53:5, 6, 8, 12), and so He took away; His perfect humanity whereby He was1209JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbodily afflicted for us, and in all our afflictions (Isa 63:9; Heb 4:15) was the ground on which Hecured the sick; so that Matthew's quotation is not a mere accommodation. See Note 42 of ArchbishopMagee, Atonement. The Hebrew there may mean to overwhelm with darkness; Messiah's time ofdarkness was temporary (Mt 27:45), answering to the bruising of His heel; Satan's is to be eternal,answering to the bruising of his head (compare Isa 50:10).carried … sorrows—The notion of substitution strictly. "Carried," namely, as a burden."Sorrows," that is, pains of the mind; as "griefs" refer to pains of the body (Ps 32:10; 38:17). Mt8:17 might seem to oppose this: "And bare our sicknesses." But he uses "sicknesses" figurativelyfor sins, the cause of them. Christ took on Himself all man's "infirmities;" so as to remove them;the bodily by direct miracle, grounded on His participation in human infirmities; those of the soulby His vicarious suffering, which did away with the source of both. Sin and sickness are ethicallyconnected as cause and effect (Isa 33:24; Ps 103:3; Mt 9:2; Joh 5:14; Jas 5:15).we did esteem him stricken—judicially [Lowth], namely, for His sins; whereas it was for ours."We thought Him to be a leper" [Jerome, Vulgate], leprosy being the direct divine judgment for guilt(Le 13:1-59; Nu 12:10, 15; 2Ch 26:18-21).smitten—by divine judgments.afflicted—for His sins; this was the point in which they so erred (Lu 23:34; Ac 3:17; 1Co 2:8).He was, it is true, "afflicted," but not for His sins.5. wounded—a bodily wound; not mere mental sorrow; literally, "pierced"; minutely appropriateto Messiah, whose hands, feet, and side were pierced (Ps 22:16). The Margin, wrongly, from aHebrew root, translates, "tormented."for … for—(Ro 4:25; 2Co 5:21; Heb 9:28; 1Pe 2:24; 3:18)—the cause for which He sufferednot His own, but our sins.bruised—crushing inward and outward suffering (see on Isa 53:10).chastisement—literally, the correction inflicted by a parent on children for their good (Heb12:5-8, 10, 11). Not punishment strictly; for this can have place only where there is guilt, whichHe had not; but He took on Himself the chastisement whereby the peace (reconciliation with ourFather; Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14, 15, 17) of the children of God was to be effected (Heb 2:14).upon him—as a burden; parallel to "hath borne" and "carried."stripes—minutely prophetical of His being scourged (Mt 27:26; 1Pe 2:24).healed—spiritually (Ps 41:4; Jer 8:22).6. Penitent confession of believers and of Israel in the last days (Zec 12:10).sheep … astray—(Ps 119:176; 1Pe 2:25). The antithesis is, "In ourselves we were scattered;in Christ we are collected together; by nature we wander, driven headlong to destruction; in Christwe find the way to the gate of life" [Calvin]. True, also, literally of Israel before its coming restoration(Eze 34:5, 6; Zec 10:2, 6; compare with Eze 34:23, 24; Jer 23:4, 5; also Mt 9:36).laid—"hath made to light on Him" [Lowth]. Rather, "hath made to rush upon Him" [Maurer].the iniquity—that is, its penalty; or rather, as in 2Co 5:21; He was not merely a sin offering(which would destroy the antithesis to "righteousness"), but "sin for us"; sin itself vicariously; therepresentative of the aggregate sin of all mankind; not sins in the plural, for the "sin" of the worldis one (Ro 5:16, 17); thus we are made not merely righteous, but righteousness, even "therighteousness of God." The innocent was punished as if guilty, that the guilty might be rewardedas if innocent. This verse could be said of no mere martyr.1210JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. oppressed—Lowth translates, "It was exacted, and He was made answerable." The verb means,"to have payment of a debt sternly exacted" (De 15:2, 3), and so to be oppressed in general; theexaction of the full penalty for our sins in His sufferings is probably alluded to.and … afflicted—or, and yet He suffered, or bore Himself patiently, &c. [Hengstenberg andMaurer]. Lowth's translation, "He was made answerable," is hardly admitted by the Hebrew.opened not … mouth—Jer 11:19; and David in Ps 38:13, 14; 39:9, prefiguring Messiah (Mt26:63; 27:12, 14; 1Pe 2:23).8. Rather, "He was taken away (that is, cut off) by oppression and by a judicial sentence"; ahendiadys for, "by an oppressive judicial sentence" [Lowth and Hengstenberg]. Gesenius not so well,"He was delivered from oppression and punishment" only by death. English Version also translates,"from … from," not "by … by." But "prison" is not true of Jesus, who was not incarcerated; restraintand bonds (Joh 18:24) more accord with the Hebrew. Ac 8:33; translate as the Septuagint: "In Hishumiliation His judgment (legal trial) was taken away"; the virtual sense of the Hebrew as renderedby Lowth and sanctioned by the inspired writer of Acts; He was treated as one so mean that a fairtrial was denied Him (Mt 26:59; Mr 14:55-59). Horsley translates, "After condemnation and judgmentHe was accepted."who … declare … generation—who can set forth (the wickedness of) His generation? that is,of His contemporaries [Alford on Ac 8:33], which suits best the parallelism, "the wickedness of Hisgeneration" corresponding to "oppressive judgment." But Luther, "His length of life," that is, thereshall be no end of His future days (Isa 53:10; Ro 6:9). Calvin includes the days of His Church, whichis inseparable from Himself. Hengstenberg, "His posterity." He, indeed, shall be cut off, but His raceshall be so numerous that none can fully declare it. Chyrsostom, &c., "His eternal sonship andmiraculous incarnation."cut off—implying a violent death (Da 9:26).my people—Isaiah, including himself among them by the word "my" [Hengstenberg]. Rather,Jehovah speaks in the person of His prophet, "My people," by the election of grace (Heb 2:13).was he stricken—Hebrew, "the stroke (was laid) upon Him." Gesenius says the Hebrew means"them"; the collective body, whether of the prophets or people, to which the Jews refer the wholeprophecy. But Jerome, the Syriac, and Ethiopiac versions translate it "Him"; so it is singular in somepassages; Ps 11:7, His; Job 27:23, Him; Isa 44:15, thereto. The Septuagint, the Hebrew, lamo,"upon Him," read the similar words, lamuth, "unto death," which would at once set aside the Jewishinterpretation, "upon them." Origen, who laboriously compared the Hebrew with the Septuagint, soread it, and urged it against the Jews of his day, who would have denied it to be the true reading ifthe word had not then really so stood in the Hebrew text [Lowth]. If his sole authority be thoughtinsufficient, perhaps lamo may imply that Messiah was the representative of the collective body ofall men; hence the equivocal plural-singular form.9. Rather, "His grave was appointed," or "they appointed Him His grave" [Hengstenberg]; that is,they intended (by crucifying Him with two thieves, Mt 27:38) that He should have His grave "withthe wicked." Compare Joh 19:31, the denial of honorable burial being accounted a great ignominy(see on Isa 14:19; Jer 26:23).and with … rich—rather, "but He was with a rich man," &c. Gesenius, for the parallelism to"the wicked," translates "ungodly" (the effect of riches being to make one ungodly); but the Hebreweverywhere means "rich," never by itself ungodly; the parallelism, too, is one of contrast; namely,1211JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbetween their design and the fact, as it was ordered by God (Mt 27:57; Mr 15:43-46; Joh 19:39,40); two rich men honored Him at His death, Joseph of Arimathæa, and his death—Hebrew, "deaths." Lowth translates, "His tomb"; bamoth, from a different root,meaning "high places," and so mounds for sepulture (Eze 43:7). But all the versions oppose this,and the Hebrew hardly admits it. Rather translate, "after His death" [Hengstenberg]; as we say, "atHis death." The plural, "deaths," intensifies the force; as Adam by sin "dying died" (Ge 2:17,Margin); that is, incurred death, physical and spiritual. So Messiah, His substitute, endured deathin both senses; spiritual, during His temporary abandonment by the Father; physical, when He gaveup the ghost.because—rather, as the sense demands (so in Job 16:17), "although He had done no," &c.[Hengstenberg], (1Pe 2:20-22; 1Jo 3:5).violence—that is, wrong.10. Transition from His humiliation to His exaltation.pleased the Lord—the secret of His sufferings. They were voluntarily borne by Messiah, inorder that thereby He might "do Jehovah's will" (Joh 6:38; Heb 10:7, 9), as to man's redemption;so at the end of the verse, "the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand."bruise—(see Isa 53:5); Ge 3:15, was hereby fulfilled, though the Hebrew word for "bruise,"there, is not the one used here. The word "Himself," in Matthew, implies a personal bearing onHimself of our maladies, spiritual and physical, which included as a consequence His ministrationto our bodily ailments: these latter are the reverse side of sin; His bearing on Him our spiritualmalady involved with it His bearing sympathetically, and healing, the outward: which is its fruitsand its type. Hengstenberg rightly objects to Magee's translation, "taken away," instead of "borne," thatthe parallelism to "carried" would be destroyed. Besides, the Hebrew word elsewhere, whenconnected with sin, means to bear it and its punishment (Eze 18:20). Matthew, elsewhere, also setsforth His vicarious atonement (Mt 20:28).when thou, &c.—rather, as Margin, "when His soul (that is, He) shall have made an offering,"&c. In the English Version the change of person is harsh: from Jehovah, addressed in the secondperson (Isa 53:10), to Jehovah speaking in the first person in Isa 53:11. The Margin rightly makesthe prophet in the name of Jehovah Himself to speak in this verse.offering for sin—(Ro 3:25; 1Jo 2:2; 4:10).his seed—His spiritual posterity shall be numerous (Ps 22:30); nay, more, though He must die,He shall see them. A numerous posterity was accounted a high blessing among the Hebrews; stillmore so, for one to live to see them (Ge 48:11; Ps 128:6).prolong … days—also esteemed a special blessing among the Jews (Ps 91:16). Messiah shall,after death, rise again to an endless life (Ho 6:2; Ro 6:9).prosper—(Isa 52:13, Margin).11. Jehovah is still speaking.see of the travail—He shall see such blessed fruits resulting from His sufferings as amply torepay Him for them (Isa 49:4, 5; 50:5, 9). The "satisfaction," in seeing the full fruit of His travailof soul in the conversion of Israel and the world, is to be realized in the last days (Isa 2:2-4).his knowledge—rather, the knowledge (experimentally) of Him (Joh 17:3; Php 3:10).my … servant—Messiah (Isa 42:1; 52:13).righteous—the ground on which He justifies others, His own righteousness (1Jo 2:1).1212JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjustify—treat as if righteous; forensically; on the ground of His meritorious suffering, not theirrighteousness.bear … iniquities—(Isa 53:4, 5), as the sinner's substitute.12. divide—as a conqueror dividing the spoil after a victory (Ps 2:8; Lu 11:22).him—for Him.with … great—Hengstenberg translates, "I will give Him the mighty for a portion"; so theSeptuagint. But the parallel clause, "with the strong," favors English Version. His triumphs shallbe not merely among the few and weak, but among the many and mighty.spoil … strong—(Col 2:15; compare Pr 16:19). "With the great; with the mighty," may mean,as a great and mighty hero.poured out … soul—that is, His life, which was considered as residing in the blood (Le 17:11;Ro 3:25).numbered with, &c.—not that He was a transgressor, but He was treated as such, whencrucified with thieves (Mr 15:28; Lu 22:37).made intercession, &c.—This office He began on the cross (Lu 23:34), and now continues inheaven (Isa 59:16; Heb 9:24; 1Jo 2:1). Understand because before "He was numbered … He bare… made intercession." His meritorious death and intercession are the cause of His ultimate triumph.Maurer, for the parallelism, translates, "He was put on the same footing with the transgressors." ButEnglish Version agrees better with the Hebrew, and with the sense and fact as to Christ. Maurer'stranslation would make a tautology after "He was numbered with the transgressors"; parallelismdoes not need so servile a repetition. "He made intercession for," &c., answers to the parallel, "Hewas numbered with," &c., as effect answers to cause, His intercession for sinners being the effectflowing from His having been numbered with them.CHAPTER 54Isa 54:1-17. The Fruit of Messiah's Sufferings, and of Israel's Final Penitence at Her Past Unbelief (Isa 53:6):Her Joyful Restoration and Enlargement by Jehovah, Whose Wrath Was Momentary, but His Kindness Everlasting.Israel converted is compared to a wife (Isa 54:5; Isa 62:5) put away for unfaithfulness, but nowforgiven and taken home again. The converted Gentiles are represented as a new progeny of thelong-forsaken but now restored wife. The pre-eminence of the Hebrew Church as the mother Churchof Christendom is the leading idea; the conversion of the Gentiles is mentioned only as part of herfelicity [Horsley].1. Sing—for joy (Zep 3:14).barren—the Jewish Church once forsaken by God, and therefore during that time destitute ofspiritual children (Isa 54:6).didst not bear—during the Babylonian exile primarily. Secondarily, and chiefly, during Israel'spresent dispersion.the children—the Gentiles adopted by special grace into the original Church (Isa 54:3; Isa49:20, 21).than … married wife—than were her spiritual children, when Israel was still a married wife(under the law, before the Babylonian exile), before God put her away [Maurer]. So Paul contrasts1213JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe universal Church of the New Testament with the Church of the Old Testament legal dispensation,quoting this very passage (Ga 4:27). But the full accomplishment of it is yet future.2. (Isa 49:19, 20; Jer 31:31-36, 38, 39). Thy children shall be so many that thy borders must beextended to contain them.curtains—the cloth forming the covering of the tent.spare not—give abundantly the means for the enlargement of the Church (2Co 9:5-7).cords … stakes—The more the tent is enlarged by lengthening the cords by which the clothcovering is fastened to the ground, the more the stakes supporting the tent need to be strengthened;the Church is not merely to seek new converts, but to strengthen those she has in the faith. Theimage is appropriate, as the tabernacle was the symbol of the old Israelitish Church (see on Isa33:20).3. break forth—rather, "burst forth" with increase; thy offspring shall grow, answering to "thyseed" in the parallel clause.thy seed—Israel and her children, as distinguished from "the Gentiles."desolate cities—of Israel (Isa 44:26).4. (Isa 41:10, 14).shame of thy youth—Israel's unfaithfulness as wife of Jehovah, almost from her earliest history.reproach of widowhood—Israel's punishment in her consequent dismissal from God andbarrenness of spiritual children in Babylon and her present dispersion (Isa 54:1; Isa 49:21; Jer 3:24,25; 31:19; Ho 2:2-5).5. (Isa 62:5; Jer 3:14). That God was Israel's "Maker," both as individuals and as the theocratickingdom, is the pledge of assurance that He will be her Redeemer (Isa 43:1-3). Hebrew, "makers… husbands"; plural for singular, to denote excellency.of Israel … whole earth—Not until He manifests Himself as God of Israel shall He appear asGod of the whole earth (Ps 102:13, 15, 16; Zec 14:5, 9).6. called—that is, recalled: the prophetic past for the future.forsaken—that had been forsaken.when thou—or, "when she was rejected"; one who had been a wife of youth (Eze 16:8, 22, 60;Jer 2:2) at the time when (thou, or) she was rejected for infidelity [Maurer]. "A wife of youth butafterwards rejected" [Lowth].7. small moment—as compared with Israel's coming long prosperity (Isa 26:20; 60:10). Sothe spiritual Israel (Ps 30:5; 2Co 4:17).gather thee—to Myself from thy dispersions.8. In a little wrath—rather, "In the overflowing of wrath"; as Pr 27:4, Margin, [Gesenius]. Thewrath, though but "for a moment," was overflowing while it lasted.hid … face—(Isa 8:17; Ps 30:7).everlasting—in contrast to "for a moment."9. I am about to do the same in this instance as in Noah's flood. As I swore then that it shouldnot return (Ge 8:21; 9:11), and I kept that promise, so I swear now to My people, and will performMy promise, that there shall be no return of the deluge of My wrath upon them. Lowth, on insufficientauthority, reads (the same will I do now as), "in the days of Noah."10. (Isa 51:6; Ps 89:33, 34; Ro 11:29).covenant of my peace—(2Sa 23:5). The covenant whereby I have made thee at peace withMe.1214JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. not comforted—by anyone; none gave her help or comfort.lay … with fair colours—rather, "lay … in cement of vermilion" [Lowth]. The Hebrew for "faircolors" means stibium, the paint with which Eastern women painted their eyelids and eyelashes(2Ki 9:30). The very cement shall be of the most beautiful color (Re 21:18-21).12. windows—rather, "battlements"; literally, "suns"; applied to battlements from their radiatedappearance.agates—rather, "rubies."carbuncles—literally, "sparkling gems"; the carbuncle when held to the sun becomes like aburning coal.all thy borders—rather, "thy whole circuit," consisting of precious stones. The glory of theChurch on earth, when the Hebrew Church, according to the original design, shall be the metropolisof Christendom.13. Quoted by the Saviour (Joh 6:45), to prove that in order to come to Him, men must be"drawn" by the Father. So Jer 31:34; Mic 4:2; 1Co 2:10; Heb 8:10; 10:16; 1Jo 2:20.great … peace—generally (Ps 119:165). Specially referring to the peaceful prosperity whichshall prevail under Messiah in the latter days (Isa 2:4, 9:6).14. righteousness—the characteristic of the reign of Messiah (Isa 11:4, 5; Ps 72:2, 4; Re 19:11).far from oppression, &c.—far from suffering oppression; "for thou shall have nothing to fear."15. gather together, &c.—that is, If it should happen that enemies "gather together" againstthee (Ps 2:2), they will not have been sent by Me (compare Ho 8:4) as instruments of My wrath(nay, it will be with My disapproval); for "whosoever shall gather together," &c. (Ps 59:3).fall for thy sake—rather, "shall come over to thy side" [Lowth]. Literally, "fall to thee" (Jer21:9; 39:9). To be fully fulfilled to Jerusalem hereafter (Zec 14:16).16. The workman that forms "weapons against thee" (Isa 54:17) is wholly in My power, thereforethou needest not fear, having Me on thy side.for his work—rather, "by his labor [Horsley]. "According to the exigencies of his work" [Maurer].waster to destroy—(Isa 10:5-7; 37:26, 27; 45:1-6). Desolating conquerors who use the"instruments" framed by "the smith." The repetition of the "I" implies, however, something in thelatter half of the verse contrasted with the former understand it, therefore, thus: "I have in My powerboth him who frames arms and him who destroys them (arms)" [Rosenmuller].17. tongue … condemn—image from a court of justice. Those who desire to "condemn" theethou shalt "condemn" (Ex 11:7; Jos 10:21; Ps 64:8; Ro 8:1, 33).righteousness … of me—(Isa 45:24; 46:13). Rather, "(this is) their justification from Me."Their enemies would "condemn" them, but I justify and vindicate them, and so they condemn theirenemies.CHAPTER 55Isa 55:1-13. The Call of the Gentile World to Faith the Result of God's Grace to the Jews First.1. every one—After the special privileges of Israel (Isa 54:1-17) there follow, as theconsequence, the universal invitation to the Gentiles (Lu 24:47; Ro 11:12, 15).Ho—calls the most earnest attention.thirsteth—has a keen sense of need (Mt 5:6).1215JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwaters … wine and milk—a gradation. Not merely water, which is needed to maintain life atall, but wine and milk to strengthen, cheer, and nourish; the spiritual blessings of the Gospel aremeant (Isa 25:6; So 5:1; Joh 7:37). "Waters," plural, to denote abundance (Isa 43:20; 44:3).no money—Yet, in Isa 55:2, it is said, "ye spend money." A seeming paradox. Ye are reallyspiritual bankrupts: but thinking yourselves to have money, namely, a devotion of your own making,ye lavish it on that "which is not bread," that is, on idols, whether literal or … without money—another paradox. We are bought, but not with a price paid by ourselves(1Co 6:20; 1Pe 1:18, 19). In a different sense we are to "buy" salvation, namely, by parting witheverything which comes between us and Christ who has bought it for us and by making it our own(Mt 13:44, 46; Lu 12:33; Re 3:18).2. not bread—(Hab 2:13). "Bread of deceit" (Pr 20:17). Contrast this with the "bread of life"(Joh 6:32, 35; also Lu 14:16-20).satisfieth not—(Ec 1:8; 4:8).hearken … and eat—When two imperatives are joined, the second expresses the consequenceof obeying the command in the first (Ge 42:18). By hearkening ye shall eat. So in Isa 55:1, "buyand eat." By buying, and so making it your own, ye shall eat, that is, experimentally enjoy it (Joh6:53). Compare the invitation (Pr 9:5, 6; Mt 22:4).fatness—(Ps 36:8; 63:5).3. me … live—by coming to me ye shall live: for "I am the life" (Joh 14:6).everlasting covenant—(Jer 32:40; 2Sa 23:5).with you … David—God's covenant is with the antitypical David, Messiah (Eze 34:23), andso with us by our identification with Him.sure—answering to "everlasting," irrevocable, unfailing, to be relied on (Ps 89:2-4, 28, 29,34-36; Jer 33:20, 21; 2Sa 7:15, 16; 2Co 1:18-20).mercies of David—the mercies of grace (Isa 63:7; Joh 1:16) which I covenanted to give toDavid, and especially to Messiah, his antitype. Quoted in Ac 13:34.4. him—the mystical David (Eze 37:24, 25; Jer 30:9; Ho 3:5). Given by God (Isa 49:6).witness—He bore witness even unto death for God, to His law, claims, and plan of redeeminglove (Joh 18:37; Re 1:5). Revelation is a "testimony"; because it is propounded to be received onthe authority of the Giver, and not merely because it can be proved by arguments.commander—"preceptor" [Horsley]; "lawgiver" [Barnes].to the people—rather, "peoples."5. thou—Jehovah addresses … run—God must call, before man can, or will, run (So 1:4; Joh 6:44). Not merely come,but run eagerly.thou knowest not—now as thy people (so in Mt 7:23).nation … nations—gradation; from Israel, one nation, the Gospel spread to many nations, andwill do so more fully on Israel's conversion.knew not thee—(Isa 52:15; Eph 2:11, 12).because of … thy God … glorified thee—(Isa 60:5, 9; Zec 8:23); where similar language isdirected to Israel, because of the identification of Israel with Messiah, who is the ideal Israel (Mt2:15; compare with Ho 11:1; see Ac 3:13).1216JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. The condition and limit in the obtaining of the spiritual benefits (Isa 55:1-3): (1) Seek theLord. (2) Seek Him while He is to be found (Isa 65:1; Ps 32:6; Mt 25:1-13; Joh 7:34; 8:21; 2Co6:2; Heb 2:3; 3:13, 15).call—casting yourselves wholly on His mercy (Ro 10:13). Stronger than "seek"; so "near" ismore positive than "while He may be found" (Ro 10:8, 9).near—propitious (Ps 34:18; 145:18).7. unrighteous—Hebrew, "man of iniquity"; true of all men. The "wicked" sins more openlyin "his way"; the "unrighteous" refers to the more subtle workings of sin in the "thoughts." All areguilty in the latter respect, thought many fancy themselves safe, because not openly "wicked inways" (Ps 94:11). The parallelism is that of gradation. The progress of the penitent is to be fromnegative reformation, "forsaking his way," and a farther step, "his thoughts," to positive repentance,"returning to the Lord" (the only true repentance, Zec 12:10), and making God his God, along withthe other children of God (the crowning point; appropriation of God to ourselves: "to our God")."Return" implies that man originally walked with God, but has apostatized. Isaiah saith, "our God,"the God of the believing Israelites; those themselves redeemed desire others to come to their God(Ps 34:8; Re 22:17).abundantly pardon—Literally, "multiply to pardon," still more than "have mercy"; God'sgraciousness is felt more and more the longer one knows Him (Ps 130:7).8. For—referring to Isa 55:7. You need not doubt His willingness "abundantly to pardon"(compare Isa 55:12); for, though "the wicked" man's "ways," and "the unrighteous man's thoughts,"are so aggravated as to seem unpardonable, God's "thoughts" and "ways" in pardoning are notregulated by the proportion of the former, as man's would be towards his fellow man who offendedhim; compare the "for" (Ps 25:11; Ro 5:19).9. (Ps 57:10; 89:2; 103:11). "For" is repeated from Isa 55:8. But Maurer, after the negation,translates, "but."10. The hearts of men, once barren of spirituality, shall be made, by the outpouring of the Spiritunder Messiah, to bear fruits of righteousness (Isa 5:6; De 32:2; 2Sa 23:4; Ps 72:6).snow—which covers plants from frost in winter; and, when melted in spring, waters the earth.returneth not—void; as in Isa 55:11; it returns not in the same shape, or without "accomplishing"the desired end.bud—germinate.11. (Mt 24:35). Rain may to us seem lost when it falls on a desert, but it fulfils some purposeof God. So the gospel word falling on the hard heart; it sometimes works a change at last; and evenif so, it leaves men without excuse. The full accomplishment of this verse, and Isa 55:12, 13, is,however, to be at the Jews' final restoration and conversion of the world (Isa 11:9-12; 60:1-5, 21).12. go out—from the various countries in which ye (the Jews) are scattered, to your own land(Eze 11:17).led—by Messiah, your "Leader" (Isa 55:4; Isa 52:12; Mic 2:12, 13).mountains … trees, &c.—images justly used to express the seeming sympathy of nature withthe joy of God's people. For, when sin is removed, the natural world shall be delivered from "vanity,"and be renewed, so as to be in unison with the regenerated moral world (Isa 44:23; Ps 98:8; Ro8:19-22).13. thorn—emblem of the wicked (2Sa 23:6; Mic 7:4).fir tree—the godly (Isa 60:13; Ps 92:12). Compare as to the change wrought, Ro 6:19.1217JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbrier—emblem of uncultivation (Isa 5:6).myrtle—Hebrew, Hedes, from which comes Hedassah, the original name of Esther. Type ofthe Christian Church; for it is a lowly, though beautiful, fragrant, and evergreen shrub (Ps 92:13,14).for a name … everlasting sign—a perpetual memorial to the glory of Jehovah (Jer 13:11;33:9).CHAPTER 56Isa 56:1-12. The Preparation Needed on the Part of Those Who Wish to Be Admitted to the Kingdom of God.1. judgment—equity. John the Baptist preached similarly a return to righteousness, as neededto prepare men for Messiah's first coming (Lu 3:3, 8-14). So it shall be before the second coming(Mal 4:4-6).near to come—(Mt 3:2; 4:17), also as to the second coming (Isa 62:10, 11; Lu 21:28, 31; Ro13:11, 12; Heb 10:25).righteousness—answering to "salvation" in the parallel clause; therefore it means righteousnesswhich bringeth salvation (Isa 46:13; Ro 3:25, 26).2. (Lu 12:43).the man—Hebrew, enosh, "a man in humble life," in contradistinction to Hebrew, ish, "one ofhigh rank." Even the humblest, as "the stranger" and "the eunuch" (Isa 56:4, 6), are admissible tothese privileges.this … it—what follows: "keeping the Sabbath," &c. (Isa 58:13, 14; Eze 20:12). A proof thatthe Sabbath, in the spirit of its obligation, was to be binding under the Gospel (Isa 66:23). Thatgospel times are referred to is plain, from the blessing not being pronounced on the man whoobserved the sacrificial ritual of the Jewish law.layeth hold—image from one grasping firmly some precious object which he is afraid of havingforcibly snatched from him. The "Sabbath" here includes all the ordinances of divine worship underthe new gospel law.keepeth … hand … from … evil—The observance of the second table of the law; as the"Sabbath" referred to the first table. Together, they form the whole duty of man, the worship ofGod and a holy life.3. God welcomes all believers, without distinction of persons, under the new economy (Ac10:34, 35).joined … to … Lord—(Nu 18:4, 7). "Proselytes."separated—Proselytes from the Gentiles were not admitted to the same privileges as nativeIsraelites. This barrier between Jews and Gentiles was to be broken down (Eph 2:14-16).eunuch—(Ac 8:27, &c.). Eunuchs were chamberlains over harems, or court ministers in general.dry tree—barren (compare Lu 23:31); not admissible into the congregation of Israel (De 23:1-3).Under the Gospel the eunuch and stranger should be released from religious and civil disabilities.4. please me—sacrifice their own pleasure to mine.take hold—so "layeth hold" (see on Isa 56:2).1218JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5. in mine house—the temple, the emblem of the Church (1Ti 3:15). They shall no longer beconfined as proselytes were, to the outer court, but shall be admitted "into the holiest" (Heb 10:19,20).a place—literally, "a hand."than of sons—Though the eunuch is barren of children (Isa 56:3), I will give him a more lastingname than that of being father of sons and daughters (regarded as a high honor among the Hebrews)(Joh 1:12; 10:3; 1Jo 3:1; Re 2:17; 3:12).6. join … Lord—(Jer 50:6). Conditions of admission to the privileges of adoption.7. Even them—(Eph 2:11-13).to my holy mountain—Jerusalem, the seat of the Lord's throne in His coming kingdom (Isa2:2; Jer 3:17).joyful—(Ro 5:11).burnt offerings … sacrifices—spiritual, of which the literal were types (Ro 12:1; Heb 13:15;1Pe 2:5).accepted—(Eph 1:6).altar—(Heb 13:10), spiritually, the Cross of Christ, which sanctifies our sacrifices of prayerand … for all people—or rather, "peoples." No longer restricted to one favored people (Mal1:11; Joh 4:21, 23; 1Ti 2:8). To be fully realized at the second coming (Isa 2:2-4). No longer literal,but spiritual sacrifice, namely, "prayer" shall be offered (Ps 141:2; 51:17; Mal 1:11; Mt 21:13).8. Jehovah will not only restore the scattered outcasts of Israel (Isa 11:12; Ps 147:2) to theirown land, but "will gather others ('strangers') to him (Israel), besides those gathered" (Margin, "tohis gathered"; that is, in addition to the Israelites collected from their dispersion), (Joh 10:16; Eph1:10; 2:19).9. beasts—Gentile idolatrous nations hostile to the Jews, summoned by God to chastise them(Jer 12:7-9; 50:17; Eze 34:5): the Chaldeans and subsequently the Romans. The mention of the"outcasts of Israel" (Isa 56:8) brings in view the outcasting, caused by the sins of their rulers (Isa56:10-12).to devour—namely, Israel.10. His watchmen—Israel's spiritual leaders (Isa 62:6; Eze 3:17).dumb dogs—image from bad shepherds' watchdogs, which fail to give notice, by barking, ofthe approach of wild beasts.blind—(Mt 23:16).sleeping, lying down—rather, "dreamers, sluggards" [Lowth]. Not merely sleeping inactive, butunder visionary delusions.loving to slumber—not merely slumbering involuntarily, but loving it.11. greedy—literally, "strong" (that is, insatiable) in appetite (Eze 34:2, 3; Mic 3:11).cannot understand—unable to comprehend the wants of the people, spiritually: so Isa 56:10,"cannot bark."look to … own way—that is, their own selfish interests; not to the spiritual welfare of thepeople (Jer 6:13; Eze 22:27).from his quarter—rather, "from the highest to the lowest" [Lowth]. "From his quarter"; that is,from one end to the other of them, one and all (Ge 19:4).1219JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. fetch wine—language of the national teachers challenging one another to drink. Barnestranslates, "I will take another cup" (Isa 5:11).to-morrow, &c.—Their self-indulgence was habitual and intentional: not merely they drink,but they mean to continue so.CHAPTER 57Isa 57:1-21. The Peaceful Death of the Righteous Few: the Ungodliness of the Many: a Believing Remnant ShallSurvive the General Judgments of the Nation, and Be Restored by Him Who Creates Peace.In the midst of the excesses of the unfaithful watchmen (Isa 56:10, 11, 12), most of the few thatare godly perish: partly by vexation at the prevailing ungodliness; partly by violent death inpersecution: prophetical of the persecuting times of Manasseh, before God's judgments in causingthe captivity in Babylon; and again those in the last age of the Church, before the final judgmentson the apostasy (2Ki 21:16; Mt 23:29-35, 37; Re 11:17). The Hebrew for "perisheth," and "is takenaway," expresses a violent death (Mic 7:2).1. no man layeth it to heart—as a public calamity.merciful men—rather, godly men; the subjects of mercy.none considering—namely, what was the design of Providence in removing the godly.from the evil—Hebrew, from the face of the evil, that is, both from the moral evil on everyside (Isa 56:10-12), and from the evils about to come in punishment of the national sins, foreigninvasions, &c. (Isa 56:9; 57:13). So Ahijah's death is represented as a blessing conferred on himby God for his piety (1Ki 14:10-13; see also 2Ki 22:20).2. Or, "he entereth into peace"; in contrast to the persecutions which he suffered in this world(Job 3:13, 17). The Margin not so well translates, "he shall go in peace" (Ps 37:37; Lu 2:29).rest—the calm rest of their bodies in their graves (called "beds," 2Ch 16:14; compare Isa 14:18;because they "sleep" in them, with the certainty of awakening at the resurrection, 1Th 4:14) is theemblem of the eternal "rest" (Heb 4:9; Re 14:13).each one walking in … uprightness—This clause defines the character of those who at death"rest in their beds," namely, all who walk uprightly.3. But … ye—In contrast to "the righteous" and their end, he announces to the unbelievingJews their doom.sons of the sorceress—that is, ye that are addicted to sorcery: this was connected with theworship of false gods (2Ki 21:6). No insult is greater to an Oriental than any slur cast on his mother(1Sa 20:30; Job 30:8).seed of the adulterer—Spiritual adultery is meant: idolatry and apostasy (Mt 16:4).4. sport yourselves—make a mock (Isa 66:5). Are ye aware of the glory of Him whom youmock, by mocking His servants ("the righteous," Isa 57:1)? (2Ch 36:16).make … wide mouth—(Ps 22:7, 13; 35:21; La 2:16).children of transgression, &c.—not merely children of transgressors, and a seed of falseparents, but of transgression and falsehood itself, utterly unfaithful to God.5. Enflaming yourselves—burning with lust towards idols [Gesenius]; or else (compare Margin),in the terebinth groves, which the Hebrew and the parallelism favor (see on Isa 1:29) [Maurer].1220JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonunder … tree—(2Ki 17:10). The tree, as in the Assyrian sculptures, was probably made anidolatrous symbol of the heavenly hosts.slaying … children—as a sacrifice to Molech, &c. (2Ki 17:31; 2Ch 28:3; 33:6).in … valleys—the valley of the son of Hinnom. Fire was put within a hollow brazen statue,and the child was put in his heated arms; kettle drums (Hebrew, toph) were beaten to drown thechild's cries; whence the valley was called Tophet (2Ch 33:6; Jer 7:3).under … clifts—the gloom of caverns suiting their dark superstitions.6. The smooth stones, shaped as idols, are the gods chosen by thee as thy portion (Ps 16:5).meat offering—not a bloody sacrifice, but one of meal and flour mingled with oil. "Meat" inOld English meant food, not flesh, as it means now (Le 14:10).Should I receive comfort—rather, "Shall I bear these things with patience?" [Horsley].7. Upon … high mountain … bed—image from adultery, open and shameless (Eze 23:7); the"bed" answers to the idolatrous altar, the scene of their spiritual unfaithfulness to their divinehusband (Eze 16:16, 25; 23:41).8. "Remembrance," that is, memorials of thy idolatry: the objects which thou holdest inremembrance. They hung up household tutelary gods "behind the doors"; the very place where Godhas directed them to write His laws "on the posts and gates" (De 6:9; 11:20); a curse, too, waspronounced on putting up an image "in a secret place" (De 27:15).discovered thyself—image from an adulteress.enlarged … bed—so as to receive the more paramours.made … covenant—with idols: in open violation of thy "covenant" with God (Ex 19:5; 23:32).Or, "hast made assignations with them for thyself" [Horsley].thy bed … their bed—The Jews' sin was twofold; they resorted to places of idolatry ("theirbed"), and they received idols into the temple of God ("thy bed").where—rather, "ever since that" [Horsley]. The Hebrew for "where" means "room" (Margin), aplace; therefore, translate, "thou hast provided a place for it" (for "their bed"), namely, by admittingidolatrous altars in thy land [Barnes]; or "thou choosest a (convenient) place for thyself" in their bed[Maurer] (Isa 56:5).9. the king—the idol which they came to worship, perfumed with oil, like harlots (Jer 4:30;Eze 23:16, 40). So "king" means idol (Am 5:26; Zep 1:5); (malcham meaning "king") [Rosenmuller].Rather, the king of Assyria or Egypt, and other foreign princes, on whom Israel relied, instead ofon God; the "ointment" will thus refer to the presents (Ho 12:1), and perhaps the compliances withforeigners' idolatries, whereby Israel sought to gain their favor [Lowth] (Isa 30:6; Eze 16:33; 23:16;Ho 7:11).send … messengers far off—not merely to neighboring nations, but to those "far off," in searchof new idols, or else alliances.even unto hell—the lowest possible degradation.10. greatness of … way—the length of thy journey in seeking strange gods, or else foreign aid(Jer 2:23, 24). Notwithstanding thy deriving no good from these long journeys (so, "send … faroff," Isa 57:9), thou dost not still give up hope (Jer 2:25; 18:12).hast found … life of … hand—for "thou still findest life (that is, vigor) enough in thy hand"to make new idols [Maurer], or to seek new alliance ("hand" being then taken for strength in general).grieved—rather, "therefore thou art not weak" [Maurer]; inasmuch as having "life in thy hand,"thou art still strong in hope.1221JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. Israel wished not to seem altogether to have denied God. Therefore they "lied" to Him. Godasks, Why dost thou do so? "Whom dost thou fear? Certainly not Me; for thou hast not rememberedMe." Translate, "seeing that thou hast not remembered Me."laid it to … heart—rather, "nor hast Me at heart"; hast no regard for Me; and that, because Ihave been long silent and have not punished thee. Literally, "Have I not held My peace, and thatfor long? and so thou fearest Me not" (Ps 50:21; Ec 8:11). It would be better openly to renounceGod, than to "flatter Him" with lies of false professions (Ps 78:36) [Ludovicus De Dieu]. However, Isa51:12, 13 favors English Version of the whole verse; God's "silent" long-suffering, which wasintended to lead them to repentance, caused them "not to fear Him" (Ro 2:4, 5).12. declare—I will expose publicly thy (hypocritical) righteousness. I will show openly howvain thy works, in having recourse to idols, or foreign alliances, shall prove (Isa 57:3).13. When thou criest—In the time of thy trouble.companies—namely, of idols, collected by thee from every quarter; or else, of foreigners,summoned to thy aid.wind … carry … away—(Job 21:18; Mt 7:27).vanity—rather, "a breath" [Lowth].possess … land … inherit—that is, the literal land of Judea and Mount Zion; the believingremnant of Israel shall return and inherit the land. Secondarily, the heavenly inheritance, and thespiritual Zion (Isa 49:8; Ps 37:9, 11; 69:35, 36; Mt 5:5; Heb 12:22). "He that putteth his trust inMe," of whatever extraction, shall succeed to the spiritual patrimony of the apostate Jew [Horsley].14. shall say—The nominative is, "He that trusteth in Me" (Isa 57:13). The believing remnantshall have every obstacle to their return cleared out of the way, at the coming restoration of Israel,the antitype to the return from Babylon (Isa 35:8; 40:3, 4; 62:10, 11).Cast … up—a high road before the returning Jews.stumbling-block—Jesus had been so to the Jews, but will not be so then any longer (1Co 1:23);their prejudices shall then be taken out of the way.15. The pride and self-righteousness of the Jews were the stumbling block in the way of theiracknowledging Christ. The contrition of Israel in the last days shall be attended with God'sinterposition in their behalf. So their self-humiliation, in Isa 66:2, 5, 10, &c., precedes their finalprosperity (Zec 12:6, 10-14); there will, probably, be a previous period of unbelief even after theirreturn (Zec 12:8, 9).16. For—referring to the promise in Isa 57:14, 15, of restoring Israel when "contrite" (Ge 6:3;8:21; Ps 78:38, 39; 85:5; 103:9, 13, 14; Mic 7:18). God "will not contend for ever" with His people,for their human spirit would thereby be utterly crushed, whereas God's object is to chasten, not todestroy them (La 3:33, 34; Mic 7:8, 9). With the ungodly He is "angry every day" (Ps 7:11; Re14:11).spirit … before me—that is, the human spirit which went forth from Me (Nu 16:22), answeringto "which I have made" in the parallel clause.17. covetousness—akin to idolatry; and, like it, having drawn off Israel's heart from God (Isa2:7; 56:11; 58:3; Jer 6:13; Col 3:5).hid me—(Isa 8:17; 45:15).went on frowardly—the result of God's hiding His face (Ps 81:12; Ro 1:24, 26).18. Rather, "I have seen his ways (in sin), yet will I heal him," that is, restore Israel spirituallyand temporally (Jer 33:6; 3:22; Ho 14:4, 5) [Horsley].1222JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI will … restore comforts unto him and to his mourners—However, the phrase, "hismourners," favors English Version; "his ways" will thus be his ways of repentance; and God'spardon on "seeing" them answers to the like promise (Isa 61:2, 3; Jer 31:18, 20).19. fruit of … lips—that is, thanksgivings which flow from the lips. I make men to returnthanks to Me (Ho 14:2; Heb 13:15).Peace, peace—"perfect peace" (see Isa 26:3, Margin; Joh 14:27). Primarily, the cessation ofthe troubles now afflicting the Jews, as formerly, under the Babylonian exile. More generally, thepeace which the Gospel proclaims both to Israel "that is near," and to the Gentiles who are "far off"(Ac 2:39; Eph 2:17).20. when it cannot rest—rather, "for it can have no rest" (Job 15:20, &c.; Pr 4:16, 17). EnglishVersion represents the sea as occasionally agitated; but the Hebrew expresses that it can never beat rest.21. (Isa 48:22; 2Ki 9:22).my God—The prophet, having God as his God, speaks in the person of Israel, propheticallyregarded as having now appropriated God and His "peace" (Isa 11:1-3), warning the impenitentthat, while they continue so, they can have no peace.CHAPTER 58Isa 58:1-14. Reproof of the Jews for Their Dependence on Mere Outward Forms of Worship.1. aloud—Hebrew, "with the throat," that is, with full voice, not merely from the lips (1Sa1:13). Speak loud enough to arrest people—the Jews in Isaiah's time, and again in the time of our Lord, more zealous forexternals than for inward holiness. Rosenmuller thinks the reference to be to the Jews in the captivitypractising their rites to gain God's favor and a release; and that hence, sacrifices are not mentioned,but only fasting and Sabbath observance, which they could keep though far away from the templein Jerusalem. The same also applies to their present dispersion, in which they cannot offer sacrifices,but can only show their zeal in fastings, &c. Compare as to our Lord's time, Mt 6:16, 23; Lu 18:12.2. Put the stop at "ways"; and connect "as a nation that," &c. with what follows; "As a nationthat did righteousness," thus answers to, "they ask of Me just judgments" (that is, as a matter ofjustice due to them, salvation to themselves, and destruction to their enemies); and "forsook notthe ordinance of their God," answers to "they desire the drawing near of God" (that God woulddraw near to exercise those "just judgments" in behalf of them, and against their enemies) [Maurer].So Jerome, "In the confidence, as it were, of a good conscience, they demand a just judgment, in thelanguage of the saints: Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity." So in Mal 2:17,they affect to be scandalized at the impunity of the wicked, and impugn God's justice [Horsley].Thus, "seek Me daily, and desire (English Version not so well, 'delight') to know My ways," refersto their requiring to know why God delayed so long in helping them. English Version gives a good,though different sense; namely, dispelling the delusion that God would be satisfied with outwardobservances, while the spirit of the law, was violated and the heart unchanged (Isa 58:3-14; Eze33:31, 32; compare Joh 18:28), scrupulosity side by side with murder. The prophets were thecommentators on the law, as their Magna Charta, in its inward spirit and not the mere letter.1223JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. Wherefore—the words of the Jews: "Why is it that, when we fast, Thou dost not notice it"(by delivering us)? They think to lay God under obligation to their fasting (Ps 73:13; Mal 3:14).afflicted … soul—(Le 16:29).Behold—God's reply.pleasure—in antithesis to their boast of having "afflicted their soul"; it was only in outwardshow they really enjoyed themselves. Gesenius not so well translates, "business."exact … labours—rather, "oppressive labors" [Maurer]. Horsley, with Vulgate, translates, "Exactthe whole upon your debtors"; those who owe you labor (Ne 5:1-5, 8-10, &c.).4. ye shall not fast—rather, "ye do not fast at this time, so as to make your voice to be heardon high," that is, in heaven; your aim in fasting is strife, not to gain the ear of God [Maurer] (1Ki21:9, 12, 13). In English Version the sense is, If you wish acceptance with God, ye must not fastas ye now do, to make your voice heard high in strife.5. for a man to afflict his soul—The pain felt by abstinence is not the end to be sought, as ifit were meritorious; it is of value only in so far as it leads us to amend our ways (Isa 58:6, 7).bow … head … sackcloth—to affect the outward tokens, so as to "appear to men to fast" (Mt6:17, 18; 1Ki 21:27; Es 4:3).6. loose … bands of wickedness—that is, to dissolve every tie wherewith one has unjustlybound his fellow men (Le 25:49, &c.). Servitude, a fraudulent contract, &c.undo … heavy burdens—Hebrew, "loose the bands of the yoke."oppressed—literally, "the broken." The expression, "to let go free," implies that those "broken"with the yoke of slavery, are meant (Ne 5:10-12; Jer 34:9-11, 14, 16). Jerome interprets it, brokenwith poverty; bankrupt.7. deal—distribute (Job 31:16-21).cast out—rather, reduced [Horsley].naked … cover him—(Mt 25:36).hide … thyself—means to be strange towards them, and not to relieve them in their poverty(Mt 15:5).flesh—kindred (Ge 29:14). Also brethren in common descent from Adam, and brethren inChrist (Jas 2:15).8. light—emblem of prosperity (Isa 58:10; Job 11:17).health—literally, a long bandage, applied by surgeons to heal a wound (compare Isa 1:6).Hence restoration from all past calamities.go before thee—Thy conformity to the divine covenant acts as a leader, conducting thee topeace and prosperity.glory … reward—like the pillar of cloud and fire, the symbol of God's "glory," which wentbehind Israel, separating them from their Egyptian pursuers (Isa 52:12; Ex 14:19, 20).9. Then … call … answer—when sin is renounced (Isa 65:24). When the Lord's call is nothearkened to, He will not hear our "call" (Ps 66:18; Pr 1:24, 28; 15:29; 28:9).putting forth of … finger—the finger of scorn pointed at simple-minded godly men. Themiddle finger was so used by the Romans.speaking vanity—every injurious speech [Lowth].10. draw out thy soul—"impart of thine own subsistence," or "sustenance" [Horsley]. "Soul" isfigurative for "that wherewith thou sustainest thy soul," or "life."light … in obscurity—Calamities shall be suddenly succeeded by prosperity (Ps 112:4).1224JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. satisfy … in drought—(Isa 41:17, 18). Literally, "drought," that is, parched places [Maurer].make fat—rather, "strengthen" [Noyes]. "Give thee the free use of thy bones" [Jerome], or, "ofthy strength" [Horsley].watered garden—an Oriental picture of not—Hebrew, "deceive not"; as streams that disappoint the caravan which had expectedto find water, as formerly, but find it dried up (Job 6:15-17).12. they … of thee—thy people, the Israelites.old waste places—the old ruins of Jerusalem (Isa 61:4; Eze 36:33-36).foundations of many generations—that is, the buildings which had lain in ruins, even to theirfoundations, for many ages; called in the parallel passage (Isa 61:4), "the former desolations"; andin the preceding clause here, "the old waste places." The literal and spiritual restoration of Israelis meant, which shall produce like blessed results on the Gentile world (Am 9:11, 12; Ac 15:16,17).be called—appropriately: the name truly designating what thou shalt do.breach—the calamity wherewith God visited Israel for their sin (Isa 30:26; 1Ch 15:13).paths to dwell in—not that the paths were to be dwelt in, but the paths leading to their dwellingswere to be restored; "paths, so as to dwell in the land" [Maurer].13. (Isa 56:2; Ne 13:15-22). The Sabbath, even under the new dispensation, was to be obligatory(Isa 66:23).foot—the instrument of motion (compare Pr 4:27); men are not to travel for mere pleasure onthe Sabbath (Ac 1:12). The Jews were forbidden to travel on it farther than the tabernacle or temple.If thou keep thy foot from going on thy own ways and "doing thy pleasure," &c. (Ex 20:10, 11).my holy day—God claims it as His day; to take it for our pleasure is to rob Him of His own.This is the very way in which the Sabbath is mostly broken; it is made a day of carnal pleasureinstead of spiritual "delight."holy of the Lord—not the predicate, but the subject; "if thou call the holy (day) of Jehovahhonorable"; if thou treat it as a day to be honored.him—or else, it, the Sabbath.not doing … own way—answering to, "turn away thy foot from the Sabbath."nor finding … pleasure—answering to, "doing thy pleasure." "To keep the Sabbath in an idlemanner is the sabbath of oxen and asses; to pass it in a jovial manner is the sabbath of the goldencalf, when the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose again to play; to keep it in surfeiting andwantonness is the sabbath of Satan, the devil's holiday" [Bishop Andrewes].nor speaking … words—answering to, "call Sabbath a delight … honorable." Man's "ownwords" would "call" it a "weariness"; it is the spiritual nature given from above which "calls it adelight" (Am 8:5; Mal 1:13).14. delight … in … Lord—God rewards in kind, as He punishes in kind. As we "delight" inkeeping God's "Sabbath," so God will give us "delight" in Himself (Ge 15:1; Job 22:21-26; Ps37:4).ride upon … high places—I will make thee supreme lord of the land; the phrase is taken froma conqueror riding in his chariot, and occupying the hills and fastnesses of a country [Vitringa], (De32:13; Mic 1:3; Hab 3:19). Judea was a land of hills; the idea thus is, "I will restore thee to thineown land" [Calvin]. The parallel words, "heritage of Jacob," confirm this (Ge 27:28, 29; 28:13-15).1225JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmouth of … Lord … spoken it—a formula to assure men of the fulfilment of any solemnpromise which God has made (Isa 40:5).CHAPTER 59Isa 59:1-21. The People's Sin the Cause of Judgments: They at Last Own It Themselves: the Redeemer's FutureInterposition in Their Extremity.The reason why Jehovah does not deliver His people, notwithstanding their religious services(Isa 58:3), is not want of power on His part, but because of their sins (Isa 59:1-8); Isa 59:9-15contain their confession; Isa 59:16-21, the consequent promise of the Messiah.1. hand … shortened—(See on Isa 50:2).ear heavy—(Isa 6:10).2. hid—Hebrew, "caused Him to hide" (La 3:44).3. (Isa 1:15; Ro 3:13-15).hands … fingers—Not merely the "hands" perpetrate deeds of grosser enormity ("blood"),but the "fingers" commit more minute acts of "iniquity."lips … tongue—The lips "speak" openly "lies," the tongue "mutters" malicious insinuations("perverseness"; perverse misrepresentations of others) (Jer 6:28; 9:4).4. Rather, "No one calleth an adversary into court with justice," that is, None bringeth a justsuit: "No one pleadeth with truth."they trust … iniquity—(So Job 15:35; Ps 7:14).5. cockatrice—probably the basilisk serpent, cerastes. Instead of crushing evil in the egg, theyfoster it.spider's web—This refers not to the spider's web being made to entrap, but to its thinness, ascontrasted with substantial "garments," as Isa 59:6 shows. Their works are vain and transitory (Job8:14; Pr 11:18).eateth … their eggs—he who partakes in their plans, or has anything to do with them, findsthem pestiferous.that which is crushed—The egg, when it is broken, breaketh out as a viper; their plans, howeverspecious in their undeveloped form like the egg, when developed, are found pernicious. Thoughthe viper is viviparous (from which "vi-per" is derived), yet during gestation, the young are includedin eggs, which break at the birth [Bochart]; however, metaphors often combine things withoutrepresenting everything to the life.6. not … garments—like the "fig leaves" wherewith Adam and Eve vainly tried to cover theirshame, as contrasted with "the coats of skins" which the Lord God made to clothe them with (Isa64:6; Ro 13:14; Ga 3:27; Php 3:9). The artificial self-deceiving sophisms of human philosophy(1Ti 6:5; 2Ti 2:16, 23).7. feet—All their members are active in evil; in Isa 59:3, the "hands, fingers, lips, and tongue,"are … haste—(Ro 3:15). Contrast David's "running and hasting" in the ways of God (Ps 119:32,60).thoughts—not merely their acts, but their whole thoughts.1226JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. peace—whether in relation to God, to their own conscience, or to their fellow men (Isa 57:20,21).judgment—justice.crooked—the opposite of "straightforward" (Pr 2:15; 28:18).9. judgment far—retribution in kind because they had shown "no judgment in their goings"(Isa 59:8). "The vindication of our just rights by God is withheld by Him from us."us—In Isa 59:8 and previous verses, it was "they," the third person; here, "us … we," the firstperson. The nation here speaks: God thus making them out of their own mouth condemn themselves;just as He by His prophet had condemned them before. Isaiah includes himself with his people andspeaks in their name.justice—God's justice bringing salvation (Isa 46:13).light—the dawn of returning prosperity.obscurity—adversity (Jer 8:15).10. grope—fulfilling Moses' threat (De 28:29).stumble at noon … as … night—There is no relaxation of our evils; at the time when we mightlook for the noon of relief, there is still the night of our desolate places—rather, to suit the parallel words "at noonday," in fertile (literally, "fat";Ge 27:28) fields [Gesenius] (where all is promising) we are like the dead (who have no hope leftthem); or, where others are prosperous, we wander about as dead men; true of all unbelievers (Isa26:10; Lu 15:17).11. roar—moan plaintively, like a hungry bear which growls for food.doves—(Isa 38:14; Eze 7:16).salvation—retribution in kind: because not salvation, but "destruction" was "in their paths"(Isa 59:7).12. (Da 9:5, &c.).thee … us—antithesis.with us—that is, we are conscious of them (Job 12:3, Margin; Job 15:9).know—acknowledge they are our iniquities.13. The particulars of the sins generally confessed in Isa 59:12 (Isa 48:8; Jer 2:19, 20). Theact, the word, and the thought of apostasy, are all here marked: transgression and departing, &c.;lying (compare Isa 59:4), and speaking, &c.; conceiving and uttering from the heart.14. Justice and righteousness are put away from our legal the street—in the forum, the place of judicature, usually at the gate of the city (Zec 8:16).cannot enter—is shut out from the forum, or courts of justice.15. faileth—is not to be found.he that departeth … prey—He that will not fall in with the prevailing iniquity exposes himselfas a prey to the wicked (Ps 10:8, 9).Lord saw it—The iniquity of Israel, so desperate as to require nothing short of Jehovah'sinterposition to mend it, typifies the same necessity for a Divine Mediator existing in the deepcorruption of man; Israel, the model nation, was chosen to illustrate his awful fact.16. no man—namely, to atone by his righteousness for the unrighteousness of the people."Man" is emphatic, as in 1Ki 2:2; no representative man able to retrieve the cause of fallen men(Isa 41:28; 63:5, 6; Jer 5:1; Eze 22:30).no intercessor—no one to interpose, "to help … uphold" (Isa 63:5).1227JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhis arm—(Isa 40:10; 51:5). Not man's arm, but His alone (Ps 98:1; 44:3).his righteousness—the "arm" of Messiah. He won the victory for us, not by mere might asGod, but by His invincible righteousness, as man having "the Spirit without measure" (Isa 11:5;42:6, 21; 51:8; 53:11; 1Jo 2:1).17. Messiah is represented as a warrior armed at all points, going forth to vindicate His people.Owing to the unity of Christ and His people, their armor is like His, except that they have no"garments of vengeance" (which is God's prerogative, Ro 12:19), or "cloak of zeal" (in the senseof judicial fury punishing the wicked; this zeal belongs properly to God, 2Ki 10:16; Ro 10:2; Php3:6; "zeal," in the sense of anxiety for the Lord's honor, they have, Nu 25:11, 13; Ps 69:9; 2Co7:11; 9:2); and for "salvation," which is of God alone (Ps 3:8), they have as their helmet, "the hopeof salvation" (1Th 5:8). The "helmet of salvation" is attributed to them (Eph 6:14, 17) in a secondarysense; namely, derived from Him, and as yet only in hope, not fruition (Ro 8:24). The secondcoming here, as often, is included in this representation of Messiah. His "zeal" (Joh 2:15-17) at Hisfirst coming was but a type of His zeal and vengeance against the foes of God at His second coming(2Th 1:8-10; Re 19:11-21).18. deeds—Hebrew, "recompenses"; "according as their deeds demand" [Maurer]. This versepredicts the judgments at the Lord's second coming, which shall precede the final redemption ofHis people (Isa 66:18, 15, 16).islands—(See on Isa 41:1). Distant countries.19. (Isa 45:6; Mal 1:11). The result of God's judgments (Isa 26:9; 66:18-20).like a flood—(Jer 46:7, 8; Re 12:15).lift up a standard—rather, from a different Hebrew root, "shall put him to flight," "drive himaway" [Maurer]. Lowth, giving a different sense to the Hebrew for "enemy" from that in Isa 59:18,and a forced meaning to the Hebrew for "Spirit of the Lord," translates, "When He shall come asa river straitened in its course, which a mighty wind drives along."20. to Zion—Ro 11:26 quotes it, "out of Zion." Thus Paul, by inspiration, supplements thesense from Ps 14:7: He was, and is come to Zion, first with redemption, being sprung as man outof Zion. The Septuagint translates "for the sake of Zion." Paul applies this verse to the comingrestoration of Israel spiritually.them that turn from—(Ro 11:26). "shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob"; so the Septuagint,Paul herein gives the full sense under inspiration. They turn from transgression, because He firstturns them from it, and it from them (Ps 130:4; La 5:21).21. covenant with them … thee—The covenant is with Christ, and with them only as unitedto Him (Heb 2:13). Jehovah addresses Messiah the representative and ideal Israel. The literal andspiritual Israel are His seed, to whom the promise is to be fulfilled (Ps 22:30).spirit … not depart … for ever—(Jer 31:31-37; Mt 28:20).CHAPTER 60Isa 60:1-22. Israel's Glory after Her Affliction.An ode of congratulation to Zion on her restoration at the Lord's second advent to her trueposition as the mother church from which the Gospel is to be diffused to the whole Gentile world;1228JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe first promulgation of the Gospel among the Gentiles, beginning at Jerusalem [Lu 24:47], is anearnest of this. The language is too glorious to apply to anything that as yet has happened.1. Arise—from the dust in which thou hast been sitting as a mourning female captive (Isa 3:26;52:1, 2).shine—or, "be enlightened; for thy light cometh"; impart to others the spiritual light now giventhee (Isa 60:3). The Margin and Gesenius translate, "Be enlightened"; be resplendent with posterity;imperative for the future indicative, "Thou shalt be enlightened" (Isa 58:8, 10; Eph 5:8, 14).glory of the Lord—not merely the Shekinah, or cloud of glory, such as rested above the arkin the old dispensation, but the glory of the Lord in person (Jer 3:16, 17).is risen—as the sun (Mal 4:2; Lu 1:78, Margin).2. darkness … earth—the rest of the earth: in contrast with "light … upon thee" (Isa 60:1).The earth will be afterwards enlightened through Israel (Isa 9:2).be seen—conspicuously: so the Hebrew.3. (Isa 2:3; 11:10; 43:6; 49:22; 66:12).kings—(Isa 49:7, 23; 52:15).thy rising—rather, "thy sun-rising," that is, "to the brightness that riseth upon thee."4. Lift up … eyes—Jerusalem is addressed as a female with eyes cast down from grief.all they … they—The Gentile peoples come together to bring back the dispersed Hebrews,restore their city, and worship Jehovah with offerings.nursed at thy side—rather "carried at thy side." It is the custom in the East to carry the childrenastride on the hip, with the arms around the body (Isa 66:12).5. see—(Isa 60:4), namely, the bringing back of thy sons.flow together—rather, "overflow with joy" [Lowth]; or, from a different Hebrew root, "be brightwith joy" [Gesenius] (Job 3:4).fear—rather, beat with the agitation of solemn joy at the marvellous sight [Horsley] (Jer 33:9).be enlarged—swell with delight. Grief, on the contrary, contracts the heart.abundance of … sea—the wealth of the lands beyond the sea, as in Solomon's time, the typeof the coming reign of the Prince of peace.converted—rather, "be turned," instead of being turned to purposes of sin and idolatry.forces—rather, "riches."6. camels—laden with merchandise; the camel is "the ship of the desert" (compare Isa 30:6).cover thee—so many of them shall there be.dromedaries—They have one hunch on the back, whereas the camel has two: distinguishedfor swiftness (Jer 2:23).Midian—east of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, and stretching northward along MountSeir. Associated with the Ishmaelites in traffic (Ge 37:25, 28).Ephah—part of Midian, east of the Dead Sea. It abounded in camels (Jud 6:5).Sheba—in Arabia-Felix, famed for frankincense and gold (Ps 72:15; Jer 6:20), which theytraded in (Isa 45:14; Job 6:19; Eze 27:22).7. Kedar—(Isa 21:16; So 1:5), in the south of Arabia-Deserta, or north of Arabia-Petræa; theytraded in flocks (Eze 27:21).Nebaioth—son of Ishmael, as was Kedar. Father of the Nabatheans in Arabia-Petræa.minister—by coming up as an acceptable sacrifice.1229JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncome up with acceptance—that is, acceptably. The rams offering themselves voluntarily (Ps68:30; Ro 12:1; 1Pe 2:5), without waiting for any other priest, answer to believers strong in faithand lamb-like meekness; and in the white fleece-like robe of sanctity [Vitringa].house of my glory—the temple (Eze 41:1-26; Hag 2:7, 9; Mal 3:1).8. The prophet, seeing in vision new hosts approaching quickly like a cloud of doves, asks whothey are.9. (see on Isa 42:4).Tarshish first—The ships of Tartessus (see on Isa 2:16; Isa 23:1, that is, vessels that trade tothe most distant regions) will be among the foremost to bring back the scattered Israelites (Isa66:20).their silver—The nations among whom the Jews have been scattered shall help them with theirmoney in returning (Isa 60:5-7, 11, 16), as was the case at the return from Babylon (Ezr 1:4; comparePs 68:30, 31).unto the name … to the Holy One—rather, because of the name—because of the Holy One(compare Isa 55:5) [Lowth].10. kings … minister unto thee—(See on Isa 60:7; Isa 49:23).in my wrath I smote thee—(Isa 54:7, 8; 57:17).11. (Re 21:25). The gates are ever open to receive new offerings and converts (Isa 26:2; Ac14:27; Re 3:8). In time of peace the gates of a city are open: so, under the Prince of peace, thereshall be no need of barring gates against invaders.forces— brought—as willing captives to the truth; or, if not willingly, be bought by judgments tosubmit to Israel (Isa 60:12, 14). Gesenius explains it, "may come escorted by a retinue."12. For—the reason which will lead Gentile kings and people to submit themselves; fear of theGod in Israel (Zec 14:17).13. glory—that is, the trees which adorned Lebanon; emblem of men eminent in natural gifts,devoting all that is in them to the God of Israel (Ho 14:5, 6).fir … pine … box—rather, "the cypress … ilex … cedar."place of my sanctuary—Jerusalem (Jer 3:17).place of my feet—no longer the ark (Jer 3:16), "the footstool" of Jehovah (Ps 99:5; 132:7; 1Ch28:2); but "the place of His throne, the place of the soles of His feet, where He will dwell in themidst of the children of Israel for ever," in the new temple (Eze 43:7).14. The sons—Their fathers who "afflicted" Israel having been cut off by divine judgments(Isa 14:1, 2; 49:23).The Zion of the Holy One—The royal court of the Holy One. Maurer translates, "Zion, thesanctuary (holy place) of Israel" (Isa 57:15; Ps 46:4).15. forsaken—(Ps 78:60, 61).no man went through thee—Thy land was so desolate that no traveller, or caravan, passedthrough thee; true only of Israel, not true of the Church (La 1:4).excellency—glory, that is, for ever honored.16. suck—Thou shalt draw to thyself and enjoy all that is valuable of the possessions of theGentiles, &c. (Isa 49:23; 61:6; 66:11, 12).know—by the favors bestowed on thee, and through thee on the Gentiles.1230JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. Poetically, with figurative allusion to the furniture of the temple; all things in that happyage to come shall be changed for the better.exactors—namely, of tribute.righteousness—All rulers in restored Jerusalem shall not only be peaceable and righteous, butshall be, as it were, "peace" and "righteousness" itself in their administration.18. (Isa 2:4). Not only shall thy walls keep thee safe from foes, but "Salvation" shall serve asthy walls, converting thy foes into friends, and so ensuring thee perfect safety (Isa 26:1, 2).gates—once the scene of "destruction" when victorious foes burst through them (Ne 1:3);henceforth to be not only the scene of praises, but "Praise" itself; the "gates," as the place of publicconcourse, were the scene of thanksgivings (2Ch 31:2; Ps 9:14; 24:7; 100:4). "Judah," the favoredtribe, means "praise."19. The sun and moon, the brightest objects by day and night, shall be eclipsed by the surpassingglory of God manifesting Himself to thee (Isa 30:26; Zec 2:5; Re 21:23; 22:5).20. There shall be no national and spiritual obscuration again as formerly (Joe 2:10; Am 8:9).mourning … ended—(Isa 25:8; Re 21:4).21. all righteous—(Isa 4:3; 52:1; Re 21:27).inherit … land—(Isa 49:8; 54:3; 65:9; Ps 37:11, 22; Mt 5:5).branch of my planting—(Isa 61:3; Ps 92:13; Mt 15:13).work of my hands—the converted Israelites (Isa 29:23; 45:11).that I may be glorified—the final end of all God's gracious dealings (Isa 49:3; 61:3).22. little one—Even one, and that the smallest in number and rank, shall be multiplied athousandfold in both respects (Mic 5:2; Mt 13:31, 32).his time—not our time; we might wish to hasten it, but it will come in due time, as in the caseof Jesus' first coming (Ga 4:4); so in that of the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the world(Isa 66:8; Hab 2:3; Ac 1:7; Heb 10:37).CHAPTER 61Isa 61:1-11. Messiah's Offices: Restoration of Israel.Messiah announces His twofold commission to bring gospel mercy at His first coming, andjudgments on unbelievers and comfort to Zion at His second coming (Isa 61:1-9); the language canbe applied to Isaiah, comforting by his prophecies the exiles in Babylon, only in a subordinatesense.1. is upon me; because … hath anointed me—quoted by Jesus as His credentials in preaching(Lu 4:18-21). The Spirit is upon Me in preaching, because Jehovah hath anointed Me from thewomb (Lu 1:35), and at baptism, with the Spirit "without measure," and permanently "abiding" onMe (Isa 11:2; Joh 1:32; 3:34; Ps 45:7; with which compare 1Ki 1:39, 40; 19:16; Ex 29:7). "Anointed"as Messiah, Prophet, Priest, and King.good tidings—as the word "gospel" means.the meek—rather, "the poor," as Lu 4:18 has it; that is, those afflicted with calamity, poor incircumstances and in spirit (Mt 11:5).1231JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonproclaim liberty—(Joh 8:31-36). Language drawn from the deliverance of the Babyloniancaptives, to describe the deliverance from sin and death (Heb 2:15); also from the "libertyproclaimed" to all bond-servants in the year of jubilee (Isa 61:2; Le 25:10; Jer 34:8, 9).opening of the prison—The Hebrew rather is, "the most complete opening," namely, of theeyes to them that are bound, that is, deliverance from prison, for captives are as it were blind in thedarkness of prison (Isa 14:17; 35:5; 42:7) [Ewald]. So Lu 4:18 and the Septuagint interpret it; Lu4:18, under inspiration, adds to this, for the fuller explanation of the single clause in the Hebrew,"to set at liberty them that are bruised"; thus expressing the double "opening" implied; namely, thatof the eyes (Joh 9:39), and that of the prison (Ro 6:18; 7:24, 25; Heb 2:15). His miracles were actedparables.2. acceptable year—the year of jubilee on which "liberty was proclaimed to the captives" (Isa61:1; 2Co 6:2).day of vengeance—The "acceptable time of grace" is a "year"; the time of "vengeance" but "aday" (so Isa 34:8; 63:4; Mal 4:1). Jesus (Lu 4:20, 21) "closed the book" before this clause; for theinterval from His first to His second coming is "the acceptable year"; the day of vengeance" willnot be till He comes again (2Th 1:7-9).our God—The saints call Him "our God"; for He cometh to "avenge" them (Re 6:10; 19:2).all that mourn—The "all" seems to include the spiritual Israelite mourners, as well as theliteral, who are in Isa 61:3 called "them that mourn in Zion," and to whom Isa 57:18 refers.3. To appoint … to give—The double verb, with the one and the same accusative, impartsglowing vehemence to the for ashes—There is a play on the sound and meaning of the Hebrew words, peer, epher,literally, "ornamental headdress" or tiara (Eze 24:17), worn in times of joy, instead of a headdressof "ashes," cast on the head in mourning (2Sa 13:19).oil of joy—Perfumed ointment was poured on the guests at joyous feasts (Ps 23:5; 45:7, 8; Am6:6). On occasions of grief its use was laid aside (2Sa 14:2).garment of praise—bright-colored garments, indicative of thankfulness, instead of those thatindicate despondency, as sackcloth (Joh 16:20).trees of righteousness—Hebrew, terebinth trees; symbolical of men strong in righteousness,instead of being, as heretofore, bowed down as a reed with sin and calamity (Isa 1:29, 30; 42:3;1Ki 14:15; Ps 1:3; 92:12-14; Jer 17:8).planting of … Lord—(See on Isa 60:21).that he might be glorified—(Joh 15:8).4. old wastes—Jerusalem and the cities of Judah which long lay in ruins (see on Isa 58:12).5. stand—shall wait on you as servants (Isa 14:1, 2; 60:10).6. But ye—as contrasted with the "strangers." Ye shall have no need to attend to your flocksand lands: strangers will do that for you; your exclusive business will be the service of Jehovah asHis "priests" (Ex 19:6, which remains yet to be realized; compare as to the spiritual Israel, Isa66:21; 1Pe 2:5, 9; Re 1:6; 5:10).Ministers—(Eze 44:11).eat … riches of … Gentiles—(Isa 60:5-11).in their glory … boast yourselves—rather, "in their splendor ye shall be substituted in theirstead"; ye shall substitute yourselves [Maurer].1232JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. double—Instead of your past share, ye shall have not merely as much, but "double" as muchreward (Isa 40:2; Zec 9:12; compare the third clause in this verse).confusion—rather, "humiliation," or "contumely."rejoice—They shall celebrate with jubilation their portion [Maurer]. Transition from the secondto the third their land—marking the reference to literal Israel, not to the Church at large.everlasting joy—(Isa 35:10).8. judgment—justice, which requires that I should restore My people, and give them doublein compensation for their sufferings.robbery for burnt offering—rather, from a different Hebrew root, the spoil of iniquity [Horsley].So in Job 5:6. Hating, as I do, the rapine, combined with iniquity, perpetrated on My people bytheir enemies, I will vindicate … work in truth—rather, "I will give them the reward of their work" (compare Isa40:10, Margin; Isa 49:4, Margin; Isa 62:11, Margin) in faithfulness.9. known—honorably; shall be illustrious (Ps 67:2).people—rather, "peoples."seed … blessed—(Isa 65:23).10. Zion (Isa 61:3) gives thanks for God's returning favor (compare Lu 1:46, 47; Hab 3:18).salvation … righteousness—inseparably connected together. The "robe" is a loose mantlethrown over the other parts of the dress (Ps 132:9, 16; 149:4; Re 21:2; 19:8).decketh himself with ornaments—rather "maketh himself a priestly headdress," that is, amagnificent headdress, such as was worn by the high priest, namely, a miter and a plate, or crownof gold worn in front of it [Aquila, &c.]; appropriate to the "kingdom of priests," dedicated to theoffering of spiritual sacrifices to God continually (Ex 19:6; Re 5:10; 20:6).jewels—rather, "ornaments" in general [Barnes].11. (Isa 45:8, 55:10, 11; Ps 72:3; 85:11).bud—the tender shoots.praise—(Isa 60:18; 62:7).CHAPTER 62Isa 62:1-12. Intercessory Prayers for Zion's Restoration, Accompanying God's Promises of It, as the AppointedMeans of Accomplishing It.1. I—the prophet, as representative of all the praying people of God who love and intercedefor Zion (compare Isa 62:6, 7; Ps 102:13-17), or else Messiah (compare Isa 62:6). So Messiah isrepresented as unfainting in His efforts for His people (Isa 42:4; 50:7).righteousness thereof—not its own inherently, but imputed to it, for its restoration to God'sfavor: hence "salvation" answers to it in the parallelism. "Judah" is to be "saved" through "the Lordour (Judah's and the Church's) righteousness" (Jer 23:6).as brightness—properly the bright shining of the rising sun (Isa 60:19; 4:5; 2Sa 23:4; Pr 4:18).lamp—blazing torch.2. (Isa 11:10; 42:1-6; 49:7, 22, 23; 60:3, 5, 16).1233JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnew name—expression of thy new and improved condition (Isa 62:4), the more valuable andlasting as being conferred by Jehovah Himself (Isa 62:12; Isa 65:15; Re 2:17; 3:12).3. (Zec 9:16)in … hand of … Lord—As a crown is worn on the head, not "in the hand," hand must herebe figurative for "under the Lord's protection" (compare De 33:3). "All His saints are in thy hand."His people are in His hand at the same time that they are "a crown of glory" to Him (Re 6:2; 19:12);reciprocally, He is "a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty" to them (Isa 28:5; compare Mal 3:17).4. be termed—be "forsaken," so as that that term could be applicable to thee.Hephzi-bah—(2Ki 21:1), the name of Hezekiah's wife, a type of Jerusalem, as Hezekiah wasof Messiah (Isa 32:1): "my delight is in her."Beulah—"Thou art married." See the same contrast of Zion's past and future state under thesame figure (Isa 54:4-6; Re 21:2, 4).land … married—to Jehovah as its Lord and Husband: implying not only ownership, butprotection on the part of the Owner [Horsley].5. thy sons—rather, changing the points, which are of no authority in Hebrew, "thy builder"or "restorer," that is, God; for in the parallel clause, and in Isa 62:4, God is implied as being "married"to her; whereas her "sons" could hardly be said to marry their mother; and in Isa 49:18, they aresaid to be her bridal ornaments, not her husband. The plural form, builders, is used of God inreverence as "husbands" (see on Isa 54:5).over the bride—in the possession of the bride (Isa 65:19; Jer 32:41; Zep 3:17).6. I—Isaiah speaking in the person of the Messiah.watchmen upon … walls—image from the watches set upon a city's wall to look out for theapproach of a messenger with good tidings (Isa 52:7, 8); the good tidings of the return of the Jewishexiles from Babylon, prefiguring the return from the present dispersion (compare Isa 21:6-11;56:10; Eze 3:17; 33:7). The watches in the East are announced by a loud cry to mark the vigilanceof the that … mention … Lord—Hebrew, "ye that are the Lord's remembrancers"; God's servantswho by their prayers "put God in remembrance" of His promises (Isa 43:26); we are required toremind God, as if God could, which He cannot, forget His promises (Ps 119:49; Jer 14:21).7. no rest—Hebrew, "silence"; keep not silence yourselves, nor let Him rest in silence. Compareas to Messiah Himself, "I will not hold … peace … not rest" (Isa 62:1); Messiah's watchmen (Isa62:6, 7) imitate Him (Isa 62:1) in intercessory "prayer without ceasing" for Jerusalem (Ps 122:6;51:18); also for the spiritual Jerusalem, the Church (Lu 18:1, 7; Ro 1:9).a praise—(See on Isa 61:11; Zep 3:20).8. sworn by … right hand—His mighty instrument of accomplishing His will (compare Isa45:23; Heb 6:13).sons of … stranger—Foreigners shall no more rob thee of the fruit of thy labors (compare Isa65:21, 22).9. eat … and praise—not consume it on their own lusts, and without thanksgiving.drink it in … courts—They who have gathered the vintage shall drink it at the feasts held inthe courts surrounding the temple (De 12:17, 18; 14:23, &c.).10. What Isaiah in the person of Messiah had engaged in (Isa 62:1) unrestingly to seek, andwhat the watchmen were unrestingly to pray for (Isa 62:7), and what Jehovah solemnly promised(Isa 62:8, 9), is now to be fulfilled; the Gentile nations are commanded to "go through the gates"1234JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(either of their own cities [Rosenmuller] or of Jerusalem [Maurer]), in order to remove all obstaclesout of "the way of the people (Israel)" (see on Isa 7:14; Isa 40:3; 52:10-12).standard—for the dispersed Jews to rally round, with a view to their return (Isa 49:22; 11:12).11. salvation—embodied in the Saviour (see Zec 9:9).his work—rather, recompense (Isa 40:10).12. Sought out—Sought after and highly prized by Jehovah; answering to "not forsaken" inthe parallel clause; no longer abandoned, but loved; image from a wife (Isa 62:4; Jer 30:14).CHAPTER 63Isa 63:1-19. Messiah Coming as the Avenger, in Answer to His People's Prayers.Messiah, approaching Jerusalem after having avenged His people on His and their enemies, isrepresented under imagery taken from the destruction of "Edom," the type of the last and mostbitter foes of God and His people (see Isa 34:5, &c.).1. Who—the question of the prophet in prophetic vision.dyed—scarlet with blood (Isa 63:2, 3; Re 19:13).Bozrah—(See on Isa 34:6).travelling—rather, stately; literally, "throwing back the head" [Gesenius].speak in righteousness—answer of Messiah. I, who have in faithfulness given a promise ofdeliverance, am now about to fulfil it. Rather, speak of righteousness (Isa 45:19; 46:13); salvationbeing meant as the result of His "righteousness" [Maurer].save—The same Messiah that destroys the unbeliever saves the believer.2. The prophet asks why His garments are "dyed" and "red."winefat—rather, the "wine-press," wherein the grapes were trodden with the feet; the juicewould stain the garment of him who trod them (Re 14:19, 20; 19:15). The image was appropriate,as the country round Bozrah abounded in grapes. This final blow inflicted by Messiah and Hisarmies (Re 19:13-15) shall decide His claim to the kingdoms usurped by Satan, and by the "beast,"to whom Satan delegates his power. It will be a day of judgment to the hostile Gentiles, as His firstcoming was a day of judgment to the unbelieving Jews.3. Reply of Messiah. For the image, see La 1:15. He "treads the wine-press" here not as asufferer, but as an inflicter of vengeance.will tread … shall be … will stain—rather preterites, "I trod … trampled … was sprinkled …I stained."blood—literally, "spirited juice" of the grape, pressed out by treading [Gesenius].4. is—rather, "was." This assigns the reason why He has thus destroyed the foe (Zep 3:8).my redeemed—My people to be … year—here, as in Isa 34:8; 61:2, the time of "vengeance" is described as a "day"; thatof grace and of "recompense" to the "redeemed," as a "year."5. The same words as in Isa 59:16, except that there it is His "righteousness," here it is His"fury," which is said to have upheld Him.6. Rather, preterites, "I trod down … made them drunk." The same image occurs Isa 51:17,21-23; Ps 75:8; Jer 25:26, 27.1235JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwill bring down … strength to … earth—rather, "I spilled their life-blood (the same Hebrewwords as in Isa 63:3) on the earth" [Lowth and Septuagint].7. Israel's penitential confession and prayer for restoration (Ps 102:17, 20), extending from Isa63:7 to 64:12.loving-kindnesses … praises … mercies … loving-kindnesses—The plurals and the repetitionsimply that language is inadequate to express the full extent of God's—the dispersed Jews at the time just preceding their final of Israel—of all ages; God was good not merely to the Jews now dispersed, but to Israelin every age of its history.8. he—Jehovah "said," that is, thought, in choosing them as His covenant-people; so "said" (Ps95:10). Not that God was ignorant that the Jews would not keep faith with Him; but God is heresaid, according to human modes of thought to say within Himself what He might naturally haveexpected, as the result of His goodness to the Jews; thus the enormity of their unnatural perversityis the more vividly set forth.lie—prove false to Me (compare Ps 44:17).so—in virtue of His having chosen them, He became their Saviour. So the "therefore" (Jer31:33). His eternal choice is the ground of His actually saving men (Eph 1:3, 4).9. he was afflicted—English Version reads the Hebrew as the Keri (Margin), does, "There wasaffliction to Him." But the Chetib (text) reads, "There was no affliction" (the change in Hebrewbeing only of one letter); that is, "In all their affliction there was no (utterly overwhelming) affliction"[Gesenius]; or, for "Hardly had an affliction befallen them, when the angel of His presence savedthem" [Maurer]; or, as best suits the parallelism, "In all their straits there was no straitness in Hisgoodness to them" [Houbigant], (Jud 10:16; Mic 2:7; 2Co 6:12).angel of his presence—literally, "of His face," that is, who stands before Him continually;Messiah (Ex 14:19; 23:20, 21; Pr 8:30), language applicable to no creature (Ex 32:34; 33:2, 14;Nu 20:16; Mal 3:1).bare them—(Isa 46:3, 4; 40:11; Ex 19:4; De 32:11, 12).10. vexed—grieved (Ps 78:40; 95:10; Ac 7:51; Eph 4:30; Heb 3:10, 17).he fought—rather, "He it was that fought," namely, the angel of His presence [Horsley], (La2:5).11. remembered—Notwithstanding their perversity, He forgot not His covenant of old; thereforeHe did not wholly forsake them (Le 26:40-42, 44, 45; Ps 106:45, 46); the Jews make this their pleawith God, that He should not now forsake them.saying—God is represented, in human language, mentally speaking of Himself and His formeracts of love to Israel, as His ground for pitying them notwithstanding their rebellion.sea—Red Sea.shepherd—Moses; or if the Hebrew be read plural, "shepherds," Moses, Aaron, and the otherleaders (so Ps 77:20).put … Spirit … within him—Hebrew, "in the inward parts of him," that is, Moses; or it refersto the flock, "in the midst of his people" (Nu 11:17, 25; Ne 9:20; Hag 2:5).12. The right hand of Moses was but the instrument; the arm of God was the real mover (Ex15:6; 14:21).dividing the water—(Ne 9:11; Ps 78:13).13. deep—literally, "the tossing and roaring sea."1236JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwilderness—rather, the "open plain" [Horsley], wherein there is no obstacle to cause a horse inits course the danger of stumbling.14. As a beast … rest—image from a herd led "down" from the hills to a fertile and well-watered"valley" (Ps 23:2); so God's Spirit "caused Israel to rest" in the promised land after their make … name—(So Isa 63:12; 2Sa 7:23).15. Here begins a fervent appeal to God to pity Israel now on the ground of His former benefits.habitation of … holiness—(Isa 57:15; De 26:15; 2Ch 30:27; Ps 33:14; 80:14).zeal … strength—evinced formerly for Thy people.sounding of … bowels—Thine emotions of compassion (Isa 16:11; Jer 31:20; 48:36; Ho 11:8).16. thou … father—of Israel, by right not merely of creation, but also of electing adoption (Isa64:8; De 32:6; 1Ch 29:10).though Abraham … Israel—It had been the besetting temptation of the Jews to rest on themere privilege of their descent from faithful Abraham and Jacob (Mt 3:9; Joh 8:39; 4:12); now atlast they renounce this, to trust in God alone as their Father, notwithstanding all appearances to thecontrary. Even though Abraham, our earthly father, on whom we have prided ourselves, disownus, Thou wilt not (Isa 49:15; Ps 27:10). Isaac is not mentioned, because not all his posterity wasadmitted to the covenant, whereas all Jacob's was; Abraham is specified because he was the firstfather of the Jewish race.everlasting—an argument why He should help them, namely, because of His everlastingimmutability.17. made us to err—that is, "suffer" us to err and to be hardened in our heart. They do notmean to deny their own blameworthiness, but confess that through their own fault God gave themover to a reprobate mind (Isa 6:9, 10; Ps 119:10; Ro 1:28).Return—(Nu 10:36; Ps 90:13).18. people of … holiness—Israel dedicated as holy unto God (Isa 62:12; De 7:6).possessed—namely, the Holy Land, or Thy "sanctuary," taken from the following clause, whichis parallel to this (compare Isa 64:10, 11; Ps 74:6-8).thy—an argument why God should help them; their cause is His cause.19. thine … never—rather, "We are Thine from of old; Thou barest not rule over them" [Barnes].Lowth translates, "We for long have been as those over whom Thou hast not ruled, who are notcalled by Thy name"; "for long" thus stands in contrast to "but a little while" (Isa 63:18). But theanalogy of Isa 63:18 makes it likely that the first clause in this verse refers to the Jews, and thesecond to their foes, as English Version and Barnes translate it. The Jews' foes are aliens who haveunjustly intruded into the Lord's heritage.CHAPTER 64Isa 64:1-12. Transition from Complaint to Prayer.1. rend … heavens—bursting forth to execute vengeance, suddenly descending on Thy people'sfoe (Ps 18:9; 144:5; Hab 3:5, 6).flow down—(Jud 5:5; Mic 1:4).1237JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. Oh, that Thy wrath would consume Thy foes as the fire. Rather, "as the fire burneth the drybrushwood" [Gesenius].3. When—Supply from Isa 64:2, "As when."terrible things—(Ps 65:5).we looked not for—far exceeding the expectation of any of our nation; unparalleled before(Ex 34:10; Ps 68:8).camest down—on Mount Sinai.mountains flowed—Repeated from Isa 64:1; they pray God to do the very same things forIsrael now as in former ages. Gesenius, instead of "flowed" here, and "flow" in Isa 64:1, translatesfrom a different Hebrew root, "quake … quaked"; but "fire" melts and causes to flow, rather thanto quake (Isa 64:2).4. perceived by the ear—Paul (1Co 2:9) has for this, "nor have entered into the heart of man";the virtual sense, sanctioned by his inspired authority; men might hear with the outward ear, butthey could only by the Spirit "perceive" with the "heart" the spiritual significancy of God's acts,both those in relation to Israel, primarily referred to here, and those relating to the Gospel secondarily,which Paul refers to.O God … what he … prepared—rather, "nor hath eye seen a god beside thee who doeth suchthings." They refer to God's past marvellous acts in behalf of Israel as a plea for His now interposingfor His people; but the Spirit, as Paul by inspiration shows, contemplated further God's revelationin the Gospel, which abounds in marvellous paradoxes never before heard of by carnal ear, not tobe understood by mere human sagacity, and when foretold by the prophets not fully perceived orcredited; and even after the manifestation of Christ not to be understood save through the inwardteaching of the Holy Ghost. These are partly past and present, and partly future; therefore Paulsubstitutes "prepared" for "doeth," though his context shows he includes all three. For "waiteth"he has "love Him"; godly waiting on Him must flow from love, and not mere fear.5. meetest—that is, Thou makest peace, or enterest into covenant with him (see on Isa 47:3).rejoiceth and worketh—that is, who with joyful willingness worketh [Gesenius] (Ac 10:35; Joh7:17).those—Thou meetest "those," in apposition to "him" who represents a class whose characteristics"those that," &c., more fully describes.remember thee in thy ways—(Isa 26:8).sinned—literally, "tripped," carrying on the figure in "ways."in those is continuance—a plea to deprecate the continuance of God's wrath; it is not in Thywrath that there is continuance (Isa 54:7, 8; Ps 30:5; 103:9), but in Thy ways ("those"), namely, ofcovenant mercy to Thy people (Mic 7:18-20; Mal 3:6); on the strength of the everlasting continuanceof His covenant they infer by faith, "we shall be saved." God "remembered" for them His covenant(Ps 106:45), though they often "remembered not" Him (Ps 78:42). Castellio translates, "we havesinned for long in them ('thy ways'), and could we then be saved?" But they hardly would use sucha plea when their very object was to be saved.6. unclean thing—legally unclean, as a leper. True of Israel, everywhere now cut off by unbeliefand by God's judgments from the congregation of the saints.righteousness—plural, "uncleanness" extended to every particular act of theirs, even to theirprayers and praises. True of the best doings of the unregenerate (Php 3:6-8; Tit 1:15; Heb 11:6).filthy rags—literally, a "menstruous rag" (Le 15:33; 20:18; La 1:17).1238JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfade … leaf—(Ps 90:5, 6).7. stirreth—rouseth himself from spiritual drowsiness.take hold—(Isa 27:5).8. father—(Isa 63:16).clay … potter—(Isa 29:16; 45:9). Unable to mould themselves aright, they beg the sovereignwill of God to mould them unto salvation, even as He made them at the first, and is their "Father."9. (Ps 74:1, 2).we are … thy people—(Jer 14:9, 21).10. holy cities—No city but Jerusalem is called "the holy city" (Isa 48:2; 52:1); the plural,therefore, refers to the upper and the lower parts of the same city Jerusalem [Vitringa]; or all Judeawas holy to God, so its cities were deemed "holy" [Maurer]. But the parallelism favors Vitringa. Zionand Jerusalem (the one city) answering to "holy cities."11. house—the temple.beautiful—includes the idea of glorious (Mr 13:1; Ac 3:2).burned—(Ps 74:7; La 2:7; 2Ch 36:19). Its destruction under Nebuchadnezzar prefigured thatunder Titus.pleasant things—Hebrew, "objects of desire"; our homes, our city, and all its dear associations.12. for these things—Wilt Thou, notwithstanding these calamities of Thy people, still refuseThy aid (Isa 42:14)?CHAPTER 65Isa 65:1-25. God's Reply in Justification of His Dealings with Israel.In Isa 64:9, their plea was, "we are all Thy people." In answer, God declares that others (Gentiles)would be taken into covenant with Him, while His ancient people would be rejected. The Jewswere slow to believe this; hence Paul says (Ro 10:20) that Isaiah was "very bold" in advancing sounpopular a sentiment; he implies what Paul states (Ro 2:28; 9:6, 7; 11:1-31), that "they are not all(in opposition to the Jews' plea, Isa 64:9) Israel which are of Israel." God's reason for so severelydealing with Israel is not changeableness in Him, but sin in them (Isa 65:2-7). Yet the whole nationshall not be destroyed, but only the wicked; a remnant shall be saved (Isa 65:8-10, 11-16). Thereshall be, finally, universal blessedness to Israel, such as they had prayed for (Isa 65:17-25).1. I am sought—Hebrew, "I have granted access unto Me to them," &c. (so Eze 14:3, "ShouldI be inquired of"; Eph 2:18).found—Ro 10:20 renders this, "I was made manifest." As an instance of the sentiment in theclause, "I am sought," &c., see Joh 12:21; of the sentiment in this clause, Ac 9:5. Compare as tothe Gentile converts, Eph 2:12, 13.Behold me—(Isa 45:22).nation … not called by my name—that is, the Gentiles. God retorts in their own words (Isa63:19) that their plea as being exclusively "called by His name" will not avail, for God's gospelinvitation is not so exclusive (Ro 9:25; 1:16).2. spread out … hands—inviting them earnestly (Pr 1:24).all … day—continually, late and early (Jer 7:13).1239JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrebellious people—Israel, whose rebellion was the occasion of God's turning to the Gentiles(Ro 11:11, 12, 15).way … not good—that is, the very reverse of good, very bad (Eze 36:31).3. continually—answering to "all the day" (Isa 65:2). God was continually inviting them, andthey continually offending Him (De 32:21).to my face—They made no attempt to hide their sin (Isa 3:9). Compare "before Me" (Ex 20:3).in gardens—(See on Isa 1:29; Isa 66:17; Le 17:5).altars of brick—Hebrew, "bricks." God had commanded His altars to be of unhewn stone (Ex20:25). This was in order to separate them, even in external respects, from idolaters; also, as allchiselling was forbidden, they could not inscribe superstitious symbols on them as the heathen did.Bricks were more easily so inscribed than stone; hence their use for the cuneiform inscriptions atBabylon, and also for idolatrous altars. Some, not so well, have supposed that the "bricks" heremean the flat brick-paved roofs of houses on which they sacrificed to the sun, &c. (2Ki 23:12; Jer19:13).4. remain among … graves—namely, for purposes of necromancy, as if to hold converse withthe dead (Isa 8:19, 20; compare Mr 5:3); or, for the sake of purifications, usually performed at nightamong sepulchres, to appease the manes [Maurer].monuments—Hebrew, "pass the night in hidden recesses," either the idol's inmost shrines("consecrated precincts") [Horsley], where they used to sleep, in order to have divine communicationsin dreams [Jerome]; or better, on account of the parallel "graves," sepulchral caves [Maurer].eat swine's flesh—To eat it at all was contrary to God's law (Le 11:7), but it much increasedtheir guilt that they ate it in idolatrous sacrifices (compare Isa 66:17). Varro (On Agriculture, 2.4)says that swine were first used in sacrifices; the Latins sacrificed a pig to Ceres; it was also offeredon occasion of treaties and marriages.broth—so called from the "pieces" (Margin) or fragments of bread over which the broth waspoured [Gesenius]; such broth, made of swine's flesh, offered in sacrifice, was thought to be especiallyacceptable to the idol and was used in magic rites. Or, "fragments (pieces) of abominable foods,"&c. This fourth clause explains more fully the third, as the second does the first [Maurer].is in—rather, literally, "is their vessels," that is, constitute their vessels' contents. The Jews, inour Lord's days, and ever since the return from Babylon, have been free from idolatry; still theimagery from idolatrous abominations, as being the sin most loathsome in God's eyes and that mostprevalent in Isaiah's time, is employed to describe the foul sin of Israel in all ages, culminating intheir killing Messiah, and still rejecting Him.5. (Mt 9:11; Lu 5:30; 18:11; Jude 19). Applicable to the hypocritical self-justifiers of our Lord'stime.smoke—alluding to the smoke of their self-righteous sacrifices; the fire of God's wrath waskindled at the sight, and exhibited itself in the smoke that breathed forth from His nostrils; in Hebrewthe nose is the seat of anger; and the nostrils distended in wrath, as it were, breathe forth smoke[Rosenmuller] (Ps 18:8).6. written before me—"it is decreed by Me," namely, what follows (Job 13:26), [Maurer]; or,their guilt is recorded before Me (compare Da 7:10; Re 20:12; Mal 3:16).into … bosom—(Ps 79:12; Jer 32:18; Lu 6:38). The Orientals used the loose fold of the garmentfalling on "the bosom" or lap, as a receptacle for carrying things. The sense thus is: I will repaytheir sin so abundantly that the hand will not be able to receive it; it will need the spacious fold on1240JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe bosom to contain it [Rosenmuller]. Rather it is, "I will repay it to the very person from whom ithas emanated." Compare "God did render the evil of the men of Shechem upon their heads" (Jud9:57; Ps 7:16) [Gesenius].7. Their sin had been accumulating from age to age until God at last repaid it in full.mountains—(Isa 57:7; Eze 18:6; 20:27, 28; Ho 4:13).their—"Your" had preceded. From speaking to, He speaks of them; this implies growingalienation from them and greater—the full recompense of their work (so Isa 49:4).8. new wine—as if some grapes having good wine-producing juice in them, be found in a clusterwhich the vinedresser was about to throw away as bad, and one saith, &c.blessing—that is, good wine-producing juice (compare Jud 9:13; Joe 2:14).so—God will spare the godly "remnant," while the ungodly mass of the nation shall be destroyed(Isa 1:9; 6:13; 10:21; 11:11, 12-16).my servants—the godly remnant. But Horsley, "for the sake of my servant, Messiah."9. seed—"the holy seed" (Isa 6:13), a posterity from Jacob, designed to repossess the HolyLand, forfeited by the sin of the former mountains—Jerusalem and the rest of Judea, peculiarly God's (compare Isa 2:2; 11:9;14:32).it—the Holy Land.elect—(Isa 65:15, 22).10. Sharon—(See on Isa 33:9; Isa 35:2).Achor—meaning "trouble"; a valley near Jericho, so called from the trouble caused to Israelby Achan's sin (Jos 7:24). "The valley of Achor," proverbial for whatever caused calamity, shallbecome proverbial for joy and prosperity (Ho 2:15).11. holy mountain—Moriah, on which the temple was.troop—rather "Gad," the Babylonian god of fortune, the planet Jupiter, answering to Baal orBel; the Arabs called it "the Greater Good Fortune"; and the planet Venus answering to Meni, "theLesser Good Fortune" [Gesenius, Kimchi, &c.]. Tables were laid out for their idols with all kinds ofviands, and a cup containing a mixture of wine and honey, in Egypt especially, on the last day ofthe year [Jerome].drink offering—rather, "mixed drink."number—rather, "Meni"; as goddess of fortune she was thought to number the fates of men.Vitringa understands Gad to be the sun; Meni the moon, or Ashtaroth or Astarte (1Ki 11:33).12. number—"doom" you. Alluding to the "number," as Meni (Isa 65:11) means. Retributionin kind, the punishment answering to the sin (compare 2Ch 36:14-17).I called, ye … not answer—"I called," though "none had called" upon Me (Isa 64:7); yet eventhen none "answered" (Pr 1:24). Contrast with this God and His people's mutual fellowship inprayer (Isa 65:24).13. eat—enjoy all blessings from me (So 5:1).hungry—(Am 4:6; 8:11). This may refer to the siege of Jerusalem under Titus, when 1,100,000are said to have perished by famine; thus Isa 65:15 will refer to God's people without distinctionof Jew and Gentile receiving "another name," namely, that of Christians [Houbigant]. A furtherfulfilment may still remain, just before the creation of the "new heavens and earth," as the context,Isa 65:17, implies.1241JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson14. howl—(Isa 15:2; Mt 8:12).15. curse—The name of "Jew" has been for long a formula of execration (compare Jer 29:22);if one wishes to curse another, he can utter nothing worse than this, "God make thee what the Jewis!" Contrast the formula (Ge 48:20) [Maurer].my chosen—the elect Church, gathered from Jews and Gentiles, called by "another name,"Christians (Ac 11:26). However (see on Isa 65:13), as "My chosen," or "elect," in Isa 65:9, refersto the "seed of Jacob," the believing Jews, hereafter about to possess their land (Isa 65:19, 22), areultimately meant by "My chosen," as contrasted with the unbelieving Jews ("ye"). These elect Jewsshall be called by "another," or a new name, that is, shall no longer be "forsaken" of God for unbelief,but shall be His "delight" and "married" to Him (Isa 62:2, 4).thee—unbelieving Israel. Isaiah here speaks of God, whereas in the preceding sentences GodHimself spake. This change of persons marks without design how completely the prophet realizedGod with him and in him, so that he passes, without formally announcing it, from God's words tohis own, and vice versa, both alike being from God.16. That he—rather, "he who," &c.blesseth, &c.—(Ps 72:17; Jer 4:2).God of truth—very God, as opposed to false gods; Hebrew, Amen: the very name of Messiah(2Co 1:20; Re 3:14), faithful to His promises (Joh 1:17; 6:32). Real, substantial, spiritual, eternal,as opposed to the shadowy types of the law.sweareth, &c.—God alone shall be appealed to as God (Isa 19:18; De 6:13; Ps 63:11).troubles—that is, sins, provocations [Lowth]. Rather, calamities caused by your sins; so farfrom these visiting you again, the very remembrance of them is "hid from Mine eyes" by themagnitude of the blessings I will confer on you (Isa 65:17, &c.). [Maurer].17. As Caleb inherited the same land which his feet trod on (De 1:36; Jos 14:9), so Messiahand His saints shall inherit the renovated earth which once they trod while defiled by the enemy(Isa 34:4; 51:16; 66:22; Eze 21:27; Ps 2:8; 37:11; 2Pe 3:13; Heb 12:26-28 Re 21:1).not be remembered—See on Isa 65:16, note on "troubles"; the words here answer to "theformer … forgotten," &c. The former sorrows of the earth, under the fall, shall be so far fromrecurring, that their very remembrance shall be obliterated by the many mercies I will bestow onthe new earth (Re 21:4-27).18. rejoice for ever … Jerusalem—(Isa 51:11). "Everlasting joy … Zion." Spiritually (1Th5:16).19. (Isa 62:5).weeping … no more—(Isa 25:7, 8; 35:10; Re 7:17; 21:4), primarily, foretold of Jerusalem;secondarily, of all the redeemed.20. The longevity of men in the first age of the world shall be enjoyed again.thence—from that time forward.infant of days—that is, an infant who shall only complete a few days; short-lived.filled … days—None shall die without attaining a full old age.child … die … hundred years—that is, "he that dieth an hundred years old shall die a merechild" [Lowth].sinner … hundred … be accursed—"The sinner that dieth at an hundred years shall be deemedaccursed," that is, his death at so early an age, which in those days the hundredth year will beregarded, just as if it were mere childhood, shall be deemed the effect of God's special visitation1242JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin wrath [Rosenmuller]. This passage proves that the better age to come on earth, though much superiorto the present will not be a perfect state; sin and death shall have place in it (compare Re 20:7, 8),but much less frequently than now.21. (See on Isa 62:8; Am 9:14).22. They shall not experience the curse pronounced (Le 26:16; De 28:30).tree—among the most long-lived of objects in nature. They shall live as long as the trees they"plant" (compare Isa 61:3, end of verse; Ps 92:12).enjoy—Hebrew, "consume," "wear out"; they shall live to enjoy the last of it (Isa 62:9).23. bring forth for trouble—literally, "for terror," that is, "They shall not bring forth childrenfor a sudden death" (Le 26:16; Jer 15:8).seed … blessed—(Isa 61:9).offspring with them—(Ho 9:12). "Their offspring shall be with themselves" [Maurer]; not"brought forth" only to be cut off by "sudden death" (see the parallel clause).24. Contrast Isa 64:7, "none … calleth," &c.; and see on Isa 65:12, "I called, ye did not answer."Maurer translates, "They shall hardly (literally, "not yet") call, when (literally, "and") I will answer;they shall be still speaking, when I will hear" (Ps 32:5; Da 9:20, 21).25. (See on Isa 11:6).and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock—(See on Isa 11:7).and dust—rather, "but dust," &c. The curse shall remain on the serpent [Horsley], (Ge 3:14;Mic 7:17). "To lick the dust" is figurative of the utter and perpetual degradation of Satan and hisemissaries (Isa 49:23; Ps 72:9). Satan fell self-tempted; therefore no atonement was contrived forhim, as there was for man, who fell by his temptation (Jude 6; Joh 8:44). From his peculiarconnection with the earth and man, it has been conjectured that the exciting cause of his rebellionwas God's declaration that human nature was to be raised into union with the Godhead; this was"the truth" concerning the person of the Son of God which "he abode not in"; it galled his pridethat a lower race was to be raised to that which he had aspired to (1Ti 3:6). How exultingly hemight say, when man fell through him, "God would raise manhood into union with Himself; I havebrought it down below the beasts by sin!" At that very moment and spot he was told that the seedof the abhorred race, man, should bruise his head (1Jo 3:8). He was raised up for this, to show forthGod's glory (Ex 9:16; Ro 9:17). In his unfallen state he may have been God's vicegerent over theearth and the animal kingdom before man: this will account for his assuming the form of a serpent(Ge 3:1). Man succeeded to that office (Ge 2:19, 20), but forfeited it by sin, whence Satan became"prince of this world"; Jesus Christ supplants the usurper, and as "Son of man" regains the lostinheritance (Ps 8:4-8). The steps in Satan's overthrow are these: he is cast out, first, from heaven(Re 12:7-9) on earth; next, he is bound a thousand years (Re 20:2, 3); finally, he is cast into thelake of fire for ever (Re 20:10).the serpent's meat—(See on Isa 11:8).They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain—(See on Isa 11:9).CHAPTER 66Isa 66:1-24. The Humble Comforted, the Ungodly Condemned, at the Lord's Appearing: Jerusalem Made a Joy onEarth.1243JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThis closing chapter is the summary of Isaiah's prophecies as to the last days, hence the similarityof its sentiments with what went before.1. heaven … throne … where is … house … ye build—The same sentiment is expressed, asa precautionary proviso for the majesty of God in deigning to own any earthly temple as His, as ifHe could be circumscribed by space (1Ki 8:27) in inaugurating the temple of stone; next, as to thetemple of the Holy Ghost (Ac 7:48, 49); lastly here, as to "the tabernacle of God with men" (Isa2:2, 3; Eze 43:4, 7; Re 21:3).where—rather, "what is this house that ye are building, &c.—what place is this for My rest?"[Vitringa].2. have been—namely, made by Me. Or, absolutely, were things made; and therefore belongto Me, the Creator [Jerome].look—have regard.poor—humble (Isa 57:15).trembleth at … word—(2Ki 22:11, 19; Ezr 9:4). The spiritual temple of the heart, though notsuperseding the outward place of worship, is God's favorite dwelling (Joh 14:23). In the final statein heaven there shall be "no temple," but "the Lord God" Himself (Re 21:22).3. God loathes even the sacrifices of the wicked (Isa 1:11; Pr 15:8; 28:9).is as if—Lowth not so well omits these words: "He that killeth an ox (presently after) murdersa man" (as in Eze 23:39). But the omission in the Hebrew of "is as if"—increases the force of thecomparison. Human victims were often offered by the's neck—an abomination according to the Jewish law (De 23:18); perhaps made so, becausedogs were venerated in Egypt. He does not honor this abomination by using the word "sacrifice,"but uses the degrading term, "cut off a dog's neck" (Ex 13:13; 34:20). Dogs as unclean are associatedwith swine (Mt 7:6; 2Pe 2:22).oblation—unbloody: in antithesis to "swine's blood" (Isa 65:4).burneth—Hebrew, "he who offereth as a memorial oblation" (Le 2:2).they have chosen—opposed to the two first clauses of Isa 66:4: "as they have chosen their ownways, &c., so I will choose their delusions.4. delusions—(2Th 2:11), answering to "their own ways" (Isa 66:3; so Pr 1:31). However, theHebrew means rather "vexations," "calamities," which also the parallelism to "fears" requires;"choose their calamities" means, "choose the calamities which they thought to escape by their ownways."their fears—the things they feared, to avert which their idolatrous "abominations" (Isa 66:3)were practised.I called … none … answer—(See on Isa 65:12; Isa 65:24; Jer 7:13).did … chose—not only did the evil deed, but did it deliberately as a matter of choice (Ro 1:32)."They chose that in which I delighted not"; therefore, "I will choose" that in which they delight not,the "calamities" and "fears" which they were most anxious to avert.before mine eyes—(See on Isa 65:3).5. tremble at … word—the same persons as in Isa 66:2, the believing few among the Jews.cast you out for my name's sake—excommunicate, as if too polluted to worship with them(Isa 65:5). So in Christ's first sojourn on earth (Mt 10:22; Joh 9:22, 34; 16:2; 15:21). So it shall beagain in the last times, when the believing shall be few (Lu 18:8).1244JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonLet the Lord be glorified—the mocking challenge of the persecutors, as if their violencetowards you was from zeal for God. "Let the Lord show Himself glorious," namely, by manifestingHimself in your behalf; as the parallelism to, "He shall appear to your joy," requires (as in Isa 5:19;compare Isa 28:15; 57:4). So again Christ on the cross (Mt 27:42, 43).appear to your joy—giving you "joy" instead of your "rebuke" (Isa 25:8, 9).6. God, from Jerusalem and His "temple," shall take vengeance on the enemy (Eze 43:1-8; Zec12:2, 3; 14:3, 19-21). The abrupt language of this verse marks the suddenness with which Goddestroys the hostile Gentile host outside: as Isa 66:5 refers to the confounding of the unbelievingJews.voice of noise—that is, the Lord's loud-sounding voice (Ps 68:33; 29:3-9; 1Th 4:16).7. she—Zion.Before … travailed … brought forth—The accession of numbers, and of prosperity to her,shall be sudden beyond all expectation and unattended with painful effort (Isa 54:1, 4, 5). Contrastwith this case of the future Jewish Church the travail-pains of the Christian Church in bringingforth "a man child" (Re 12:2, 5). A man child's birth is in the East a matter of special joy, whilethat of a female is not so; therefore, it here means the manly sons of the restored Jewish Church,the singular being used collectively for the plural: or the many sons being regarded as one underMessiah, who shall then be manifested as their one representative Head.8. earth—rather, to suit the parallelism, "is a country (put for the people in it) brought forth inone day?" [Lowth]. In English Version it means, The earth brings forth its productions gradually,not in one day (Mr 4:28).at once—In this case, contrary to the usual growth of the nations by degrees, Israel starts intomaturity at once.for—rather, "is a nation born at once, that Zion has, so soon as she travailed, brought forth?"[Maurer].9. cause to bring forth, and shut—rather, "Shall I who beget, restrain the birth?" [Lowth], (Isa37:3; Ho 13:13); that is, Shall I who have begun, not finish My work of restoring Israel? (1Sa 3:12;Ro 11:1; Php 1:6).shut—(compare Re 3:7, 8).10. love … mourn for her—(Ps 102:14, 17, 20; 122:6).11. suck—(Isa 60:5, 16; 61:6; 49:23).abundance—Hebrew, "the ray-like flow of her opulence," that is, with the milk spouting outfrom her full breasts (answering to the parallel, "breast of her consolations") in ray-like streams[Gesenius].12. extend—I will turn peace (prosperity) upon her, like a river turned in its course [Gesenius].Or, "I will spread peace over her as an overflowing river" [Barnes], (Isa 48:18).flowing stream—as the Nile by its overflow fertilizes the whole of Egypt.borne upon … sides—(See on Isa 60:4).her … her—If "ye" refers to the Jews, translate, "ye shall be borne upon their sides … theirknees," namely, those of the Gentiles, as in Isa 49:22; and as "suck" (Isa 60:16) refers to the Jewssucking the Gentile wealth. However, English Version gives a good sense: The Jews, and all wholove Jehovah (Isa 66:10), "shall suck, and be borne" by her as a mother.13. mother—(Isa 49:15).comforteth—(Isa 40:1, 2).1245JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson14. bones—which once were "dried up" by the "fire" of God's wrath (La 1:13), shall live again(Pr 3:8; 15:30; Eze 37:1, &c.).flourish … herb—(Ro 11:15-24).known toward—manifested in behalf of.15. (Isa 9:5; Ps 50:3; Hab 3:5; 2Th 1:8; 2Pe 3:7).chariots … whirlwind—(Jer 4:13).render—as the Hebrew elsewhere (Job 9:13; Ps 78:38) means to "allay" or "stay wrath." Maurertranslates it so here: He stays His anger with nothing but fury," &c.; nothing short of pouring outall His fiery fury will satisfy His wrath.fury—"burning heat" [Lowth], to which the parallel, "flames of fire," answers.16. Rather, "With fire will Jehovah judge, and with His sword (He will judge) all flesh." Theparallelism and collocation of the Hebrew words favor this (Isa 65:12).all flesh—that is, all who are the objects of His wrath. The godly shall be hidden by the Lordin a place of safety away from the scene of judgment (Isa 26:20, 21; Ps 31:20; 1Th 4:16, 17).17. in … gardens—Hebrew and the Septuagint rather require, "for (entering into) gardens,"namely, to sacrifice there [Maurer].behind one tree—rather, "following one," that is, some idol or other, which, from contempt,he does not name [Maurer]. Vitringa, &c., think the Hebrew for "one," Ahhadh, to be the name of thegod; called Adad (meaning One) in Syria (compare Ac 17:23). The idol's power was representedby inclined rays, as of the sun shining on the earth. Gesenius translates, "following one," namely,Hierophant ("priest"), who led the rest in performing the sacred … midst—namely, of the garden (see on Isa 65:3, 4).mouse—legally unclean (Le 11:29) because it was an idol to the heathen (see on Isa 37:36;1Sa 6:4). Translate, "the field mouse," or "dormouse" [Bochart]. The Pharisees with their self-righteouspurifications, and all mere formalists, are included in the same condemnation, described in languagetaken from the idolatries prevalent in Isaiah's times.18. know—not in the Hebrew. Rather, understand the words by aposiopesis; it is usual in threatsto leave the persons threatened to supply the hiatus from their own fears, owing to conscious guilt:"For I … their works and thoughts," &c.; namely, will punish [Maurer].it shall come—the time is come that I will, &c. [Maurer].gather … nations—against Jerusalem, where the ungodly Jews shall perish; and then the Lordat last shall fight for Jerusalem against those nations: and the survivors (Isa 66:19) shall "see God'sglory" (Zec 12:8, 9; 14:1-3, 9).tongues—which have been many owing to sin, being confounded at Babel, but which shallagain be one in Christ (Da 7:14; Zep 3:9; Re 7:9, 10).19. sign—a banner on a high place, to indicate the place of meeting for the dispersed Jewishexiles, preparatory to their return to their land (Isa 5:26; 11:12; 62:10).those that escape of them—the Gentile survivors spared by God (see on Isa 66:18; Zec 14:16).Isa 2:2, 3; Mic 5:7; and Zec 14:16-19 represent it, not that the Jews go as missionaries to the Gentiles,but that the Gentiles come up to Jerusalem to learn the Lord's ways there.Tarshish—Tartessus in Spain, in the west.Pul—east and north of Africa: probably the same as Philoe, an island in the Nile, called by theEgyptians Pilak, that is, the border country, being between Egypt and Ethiopia [Bochart].1246JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonLud—the Libyans of Africa (Ge 10:13), Ludim being son of Mizraim (Egypt): an Ethiopianpeople famous as bowmen (Jer 46:9): employed as mercenaries by Tyre and Egypt (Eze 27:10;30:5).Tubal—Tibarenians, in Asia Minor, south of the Caucasus, between the Black Sea and Araxes.Or, the Iberians [Josephus]. Italy [Jerome].Javan—the Greeks; called Ionians, including all the descendants of Javan, both in Greece andin Asia Minor (Ge 10:2-4).my glory … Gentiles—(Mal 1:11).20. they—the Gentiles (Isa 66:19).bring … your brethren—the Jews, back to the Holy Land (Isa 49:22). It cannot mean the mereentrance of the Jews into the Christian Church; for such an entrance would be by faith, not upon"horses, litters, and mules" [Houbigant]. "Offering" is metaphorical, as in Ro 15:16.horses—not much used by the Jews. The Gentiles are here represented as using their modesof conveyance to "bring" the Jews to Jerusalem.chariots—as these are not found in Oriental caravans, translate, "vehicles," namely, borne, notdrawn on wheels.litters—covered sedans for the rich.upon swift beasts—dromedaries: from Hebrew root, "to dance," from their bounding motion,often accelerated by music [Bochart]. Panniers were thrown across the dromedaries' back for poorerwomen [Horsley].21. of them—the Gentiles.priests … Levites—for spiritual worship: enjoying the direct access to God which was formerlyenjoyed by the ministers of the temple alone (1Pe 2:9; Re 1:6).22. (Isa 65:17; 2Pe 3:13; Re 21:1).23. Literally, "As often as the new moon (shall be) in its own new moon," that is, every month(Zec 14:16).sabbath—which is therefore perpetually obligatory on earth.all flesh—(Ps 65:2; 72:11).before me—at Jerusalem (Jer 3:16, 17).24. go forth, and look—as the Israelites looked at the carcasses of the Egyptians destroyed atthe Red Sea (Ex 14:30; compare Isa 26:14-19; Ps 58:10; 49:14; Mal 4:1-3).carcasses, &c.—(Isa 66:16), those slain by the Lord in the last great battle near Jerusalem (Zec12:2-9; 14:2-4); type of the final destruction of all sinners.worm … not die—(Mr 9:44, 46, 48). Image of hell, from bodies left unburied in the valley ofHinnom (whence comes Gehenna, or "hell"), south of Jerusalem, where a perpetual fire was keptto consume the refuse thrown there (Isa 30:33). It shall not be inconsistent with true love for thegodly to look with satisfaction on God's vengeance on the wicked (Re 14:10). May God bless thisCommentary, and especially its solemn close, to His glory, and to the edification of the writer andthe readers of it, for Jesus' sake!

      THE BOOK OF THE PROPHETJEREMIAH1247JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONJeremiah, son of Hilkiah, one of the ordinary priests, dwelling in Anathoth of Benjamin (Jer 1:1),not the Hilkiah the high priest who discovered the book of the law (2Ki 22:8); had he been thesame, the designation would have been "the priest", or "the high priest". Besides, his residence atAnathoth shows that he belonged to the line of Abiathar, who was deposed from the high priesthoodby Solomon (1Ki 2:26-35), after which the office remained in Zadok's line. Mention occurs ofJeremiah in 2Ch 35:25; 36:12, 21. In 629 B.C. the thirteenth year of King Josiah, while still veryyoung (Jer 1:5), he received his prophetical call in Anathoth (Jer 1:2); and along with Hilkiah thehigh priest, the prophetess Huldah, and the prophet Zephaniah, he helped forward Josiah'sreformation of religion (2Ki 23:1-25). Among the first charges to him was one that he should goand proclaim God's message in Jerusalem (Jer 2:2). He also took an official tour to announce tothe cities of Judah the contents of the book of the law, found in the temple (Jer 11:6) five yearsafter his call to prophesy. On his return to Anathoth, his countrymen, offended at his reproofs,conspired against his life. To escape their persecutions (Jer 11:21), as well as those of his ownfamily (Jer 12:6), he left Anathoth and resided at Jerusalem. During the eighteen years of his ministryin Josiah's reign he was unmolested; also during the three months of Jehoahaz or Shallum's reign(Jer 22:10-12). On Jehoiakim's accession it became evident that Josiah's reformation effectednothing more than a forcible repression of idolatry and the establishment of the worship of Godoutwardly. The priests, prophets, and people then brought Jeremiah before the authorities, urgingthat he should be put to death for his denunciations of evil against the city (Jer 26:8-11). The princes,however, especially Ahikam, interposed in his behalf (Jer 26:16, 24), but he was put under restraint,or at least deemed it prudent not to appear in public. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim (606 B.C.), hewas commanded to write the predictions given orally through him, and to read them to the people.Being "shut up", he could not himself go into the house of the Lord (Jer 36:5); he therefore deputedBaruch, his amanuensis, to read them in public on the fast day. The princes thereupon advisedBaruch and Jeremiah to hide themselves from the king's displeasure. Meanwhile they read the rollto the king, who was so enraged that he cut it with a knife and threw it into the fire; at the sametime giving orders for the apprehension of the prophet and Baruch. They escaped Jehoiakim'sviolence, which had already killed the prophet Urijah (Jer 26:20-23). Baruch rewrote the words,with additional prophecies, on another roll (Jer 36:27-32). In the three months' reign of Jehoiachinor Jeconiah, he prophesied the carrying away of the king and the queen mother (Jer 13:18; 22:24-30;compare 2Ki 24:12). In this reign he was imprisoned for a short time by Pashur (Jer 20:1-18), thechief governor of the Lord's house; but at Zedekiah's accession he was free (Jer 37:4), for the kingsent to him to "inquire of the Lord" when Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem (Jer 21:1-3,&c.; Jer 37:3). The Chaldeans drew off on hearing of the approach of Pharaoh's army (Jer 37:5);but Jeremiah warned the king that the Egyptians would forsake him, and the Chaldeans return andburn up the city (Jer 37:7, 8). The princes, irritated at this, made the departure of Jeremiah fromthe city during the respite a pretext for imprisoning him, on the allegation of his deserting to theChaldeans (Jer 38:1-5). He would have been left to perish in the dungeon of Malchiah, but for theintercession of Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian (Jer 38:6-13). Zedekiah, though he consulted Jeremiahin secret yet was induced by his princes to leave Jeremiah in prison (Jer 38:14-28) until Jerusalemwas taken. Nebuchadnezzar directed his captain, Nebuzar-adan, to give him his freedom, so thathe might either go to Babylon or stay with the remnant of his people as he chose. As a true patriot,1248JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnotwithstanding the forty and a half years during which his country had repaid his services withneglect and persecution, he stayed with Gedaliah, the ruler appointed by Nebuchadnezzar overJudea (Jer 40:6). After the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael, Johanan, the recognized ruler of thepeople, in fear of the Chaldeans avenging the murder of Gedaliah, fled with the people to Egypt,and forced Jeremiah and Baruch to accompany him, in spite of the prophet's warning that the peopleshould perish if they went to Egypt, but be preserved by remaining in their land (Jer 41:1-43:13).At Tahpanhes, a boundary city on the Tanitic or Pelustan branch of the Nile, he prophesied theoverthrow of Egypt (Jer 43:8-13). Tradition says he died in Egypt. According to the Pseudo-Epiphanius,he was stoned at Taphnæ or Tahpanhes. The Jews so venerated him that they believed he wouldrise from the dead and be the forerunner of Messiah (Mt 16:14).Havernick observes that the combination of features in Jeremiah's character proves his divinemission; mild, timid, and susceptible of melancholy, yet intrepid in the discharge of his propheticfunctions, not sparing the prince any more than the meanest of his subjects—the Spirit of prophecycontrolling his natural temper and qualifying him for his hazardous undertaking, without doingviolence to his individuality. Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, and Ezekiel were his contemporaries.The last forms a good contrast to Jeremiah, the Spirit in his case acting on a temperament as stronglymarked by firmness as Jeremiah's was by shrinking and delicate sensitiveness. Ezekiel views thenation's sins as opposed to righteousness—Jeremiah, as productive of misery; the former takes theobjective, the latter the subjective, view of the evils of the times. Jeremiah's style corresponds tohis character: he is peculiarly marked by pathos, and sympathy with the wretched; his Lamentationsillustrate this; the whole series of elegies has but one object—to express sorrow for his fallencountry; yet the lights and images in which he presents this are so many, that the reader, so far fromfeeling it monotonous, is charmed with the variety of the plaintive strains throughout. The languageis marked by Aramæisms, which probably was the ground of Jerome's charge that the style is "rustic".Lowth denies the charge and considers him in portions not inferior to Isaiah. His heaping of phraseon phrase, the repetition of stereotyped forms—and these often three times—are due to his affectedfeelings and to his desire to intensify the expression of them; he is at times more concise, energetic,and sublime, especially against foreign nations, and in the rhythmical parts.The principle of the arrangement of his prophecies is hard to ascertain. The order of kingswas—Josiah (under whom he prophesied eighteen years), Jehoahaz (three months), Jehoiakim(eleven years), Jeconiah (three months), Zedekiah (eleven years). But his prophecies under Josiah(the first through twentieth chapters) are immediately followed by a portion under Zedekiah (thetwenty-first chapter). Again, Jer 24:8-10, as to Zedekiah, comes in the midst of the section as toJehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah (the twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fifth chapters, &c.)So the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth chapters as to Jehoiakim, follow the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth,twenty-ninth, thirty-third, thirty-fourth chapters, as to Zedekiah; and the forty-fifth chapter, datedthe fourth year of Jehoiakim, comes after predictions as to the Jews who fled to Egypt after theoverthrow of Jerusalem. Ewald thinks the present arrangement substantially Jeremiah's own; thevarious portions are prefaced by the same formula, "The word which came to Jeremiah from theLord" (Jer 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 25:1; 30:1; 32:1; 34:1, 8; 35:1; 40:1; 44:1; compare Jer 14:1; 46:1;47:1; 49:34). Notes of time mark other divisions more or less historical (Jer 26:1; 27:1; 36:1; 37:1).Two other portions are distinct of themselves (Jer 29:1; 45:1). The second chapter has the shorterintroduction which marks the beginning of a strophe; the third chapter seems imperfect, having asthe introduction merely "saying" (Jer 3:1, Hebrew). Thus in the poetical parts, there are twenty-three1249JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsections divided into strophes of from seven to nine verses, marked some way thus, "The Lord saidalso unto me". They form five books: I. The Introduction, first chapter II. Reproofs of the Jews,the second through twenty-fourth chapters, made up of seven sections: (1) the second chapter (2)the third through sixth chapters; (3) the seventh through tenth chapters; (4) the eleventh throughthirteenth chapters; (5) the fourteenth through seventeenth chapters; (6) the seventeenth throughnineteenth and twentieth chapters; (7) the twenty-first through twenty-fourth chapters. III. Reviewof all nations in two sections: the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth through forty-ninth chapters, witha historical appendix of three sections, (1) the twenty-sixth chapter; (2) the twenty-seventh chapter;(3) the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth chapters. IV. Two sections picturing the hopes of brightertimes, (1) the thirtieth and thirty-first chapters; (2) the thirty-second and thirty-third chapters; andan historical appendix in three sections: (1) Jer 34:1-7; (2) Jer 34:8-22; (3) Jer 35:1-19. V. Theconclusion, in two sections: (1) Jer 36:2; (2) Jer 45:1-5. Subsequently, in Egypt, he added Jer46:13-26 to the previous prophecy as to Egypt; also the three sections, the thirty-seventh throughthirty-ninth chapters; fortieth through forty-third chapters; and forty-fourth chapter. The fifty-secondchapter was probably (see Jer 51:64) an appendix from a later hand, taken from 2Ki 24:18, &c.;2Ki 25:30. The prophecies against the several foreign nations stand in a different order in theHebrew from that of the Septuagint; also the prophecies against them in the Hebrew (the forty-sixththrough fifty-first chapters) are in the Septuagint placed after Jer 25:14, forming the twenty-sixthand thirty-first chapters; the remainder of the twenty-fifth chapter of the Hebrew is the thirty-secondchapter of the Septuagint. Some passages in the Hebrew (Jer 27:19-22; 33:14-26; 39:4-14 Jer48:45-47) are not found in the Septuagint; the Greek translators must have had a different recensionbefore them; probably an earlier one. The Hebrew is probably the latest and fullest edition fromJeremiah's own hand. See on Jer 25:13. The canonicity of his prophecies is established by quotationsof them in the New Testament (see Mt 2:17; 16:14; Heb 8:8-12; on Mt 27:9, see on Introductionto Zechariah); also by the testimony of Ecclesiasticus 49:7, which quotes Jer 1:10; of Philo, whoquotes his word as an "oracle"; and of the list of canonical books in Melito, Origen, Jerome, and theTalmud.CHAPTER 1Jer 1:1-19. The General Title or IntroductionJer 1:1-3, probably prefixed by Jeremiah, when he collected his prophecies and gave them tohis countrymen to take with them to Babylon [Michaelis].1. Anathoth—a town in Benjamin, twenty stadia, that is, two or three miles north of Jerusalem;now Anata (compare Isa 10:30, and the context, Isa 10:28-32). One of the four cities allotted to theKohathites in Benjamin (Jos 21:18). Compare 1Ki 2:26, 27; a stigma was cast thenceforth on thewhole sacerdotal family resident there; this may be alluded to in the words here, "the priests … inAnathoth." God chooses "the weak, base, and despised things … to confound the mighty."2, 3. Jehoiakim … Josiah … Zedekiah—Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin are omitted for they reignedonly three months each. The first and last of the kings under whom each prophet prophesied areoften thus specified in the general title. See on these kings, and Jeremiah's life, my Introduction.thirteenth … of his reign—(Jer 25:3).fifth month—(2Ki 25:8).1250JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4-10. Jeremiah's call to the prophetical office.unto me—other manuscripts read "to him"; but English Version probably represents the trueHebrew text; this inscription was doubtless made by Jeremiah himself.5. knew—approved of thee as My chosen instrument (Ex 33:12, 17; compare Isa 49:1, 5; Ro8:29).sanctified—rather, "separated." The primary meaning is, "to set apart" from a common to aspecial use; hence arose the secondary sense, "to sanctify," ceremonially and morally. It is not heremeant that Jehovah cleansed Jeremiah from original sin or regenerated him by His Spirit; butseparated him to his peculiar prophetical office, including in its range, not merely the Hebrews,but also the nations hostile to them (Jer 25:12-38; 27:1-21; 46:1-51:64), [Henderson]. Not the effect,but the predestination in Jehovah's secret counsel, is meant by the sanctification here (compare Lu1:15, 41; Ac 15:18; Ga 1:15; Eph 1:11).6. From the long duration of his office (Jer 1:2, 3; Jer 40:1, &c.; Jer 43:8, &c.), it is supposedthat he was at the time of his call under twenty-five years of age.child—the same word is translated, "young man" (2Sa 18:5). The reluctance often shown byinspired ministers of God (Ex 4:10; 6:12, 30; Jon 1:3) to accept the call, shows that they did notassume the office under the impulse of self-deceiving fanaticism, as false prophets often did.7. to all that—to all "to whom" [Rosenmuller]. Rather, "to all against whom"; in a hostile sense(compare Jer 1:8, 17, 18, 19) [Maurer]. Such was the perversity of the rulers and people of Judea atthat time, that whoever would desire to be a faithful prophet needed to arm himself with an intrepidmind; Jeremiah was naturally timid and sensitive; yet the Spirit moulded him to the necessarydegree of courage without taking away his peculiar individuality.8. (Eze 2:6; 3:9).I am with thee—(Ex 3:12; Jos 1:5).9. touched my mouth—a symbolical act in supernatural vision, implying that God would givehim utterance, notwithstanding his inability to speak (Jer 1:6). So Isaiah's lips were touched witha living coal (Isa 6:7; compare Eze 2:8, 9, 10; Da 10:16).10. set thee over—literally, "appointed thee to the oversight." He was to have his eye upon thenations, and to predict their destruction, or restoration, according as their conduct was bad or good.Prophets are said to do that which they foretell shall be done; for their word is God's word; and Hisword is His instrument whereby He doeth all things (Ge 1:3; Ps 33:6, 9). Word and deed are onething with Him. What His prophet saith is as certain as if it were done. The prophet's ownconsciousness was absorbed into that of God; so closely united to God did he feel himself, thatJehovah's words and deeds are described as his. In Jer 31:28, God is said to do what Jeremiah hereis represented as doing (compare Jer 18:7; 1Ki 19:17; Eze 43:3).root out—(Mt 15:13).pull down—change of metaphor to architecture (2Co 10:4). There is a play on the similarsounds, linthosh, linthotz, in the Hebrew for "root out … pull down."build … plant—restore upon their repenting. His predictions were to be chiefly, and in thefirst instance, denunciatory; therefore the destruction of the nations is put first, and with a greatervariety of terms than their restoration.11. rod—shoot, or branch.1251JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonalmond tree—literally, "the wakeful tree," because it awakes from the sleep of winter earlierthan the other trees, flowering in January, and bearing fruit in March; symbol of God's earlyexecution of His purpose; Jer 1:12, "hasten My word" (compare Am 8:3).12. hasten—rather, "I will be wakeful as to My word," &c.; alluding to Jer 1:11, "the wakefultree" [Maurer].13. Another vision, signifying what is the "word" about to be "performed," and by whatinstrumentality.seething—literally, "blown under"; so boiling by reason of the flame under it kept brisk byblowing. An Oriental symbol of a raging war.toward—rather, "from the north." Literally, "from the face of the region situated towards thenorth" (compare Jer 1:14, 15) [Maurer]. The pot in the north rested on one side, its mouth beingabout to pour forth its contents southwards, namely, on Judea. Babylon, though east of Judea, wasregarded by the Hebrews as north, because they appropriated the term "east" to Arabia-Deserta,stretching from Palestine to the Euphrates; or rather [Bochart], the reference here is not to the site,but to the route of the Babylonians; not being able to cross the desert, they must enter the HolyLand by the northern frontier, through Riblah in Hamath (Jer 39:5; 52:9).14. break forth—"shall disclose itself."Out of the north—(Jer 4:6; 6:1, 22; 10:22; 25:9; Eze 26:7). The Chaldeans did not cast off theyoke of Assyria till several years after, under Nabopolassar, 625 B.C.; but long previously they hadso increased as to threaten Assyria, which was now grown weak, and other neighboring peoples.15. families—the tribes or clans composing the various kingdoms of Babylon; the specificationof these aggravates the picture of calamity (Jer 25:9).throne at … gates—the usual place of administering justice. The conquering princes will setup their tribunal there (Jer 39:3, 5; 52:9). Or the reference is to the military pavilion (Jer 43:10)[Maurer].16. utter—pronounce. The judicial sentences, pronounced against the Jews by the invadingprinces, would be virtually the "judgments of God" (Isa 10:5).works—idols.17. gird … loins—resolutely prepare for thy appointed task. Metaphor from the flowing robesworn in the East, which have to be girt up with a girdle, so as not to incommode one, whenundertaking any active work (Job 38:3; Lu 12:35; 1Pe 1:13).dismayed … confound—the same Hebrew word; literally, "to break." Be not dismayed at theirfaces (before them), lest I make thee dismayed before their faces (before them), that is, "lest I shouldpermit thee to be overcome by them" (compare Jer 49:37).18. defenced city, &c.—that is, I will give thee strength which no power of thine enemies shallovercome (Jer 6:27; 15:20; Isa 50:7; 54:17; Lu 21:15; Ac 6:10).walls—plural, to express the abundant strength to be given him. De Rossi's'S manuscripts readsingular, "wall."people of the land—the general masses, as distinguished from the princes and priests.CHAPTER 21252JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonJer 2:1-37. Expostulation with the Jews, Reminding Them of Their Former Devotedness, and God's ConsequentFavor, and a Denunciation of God's Coming Judgments for Their Idolatry.Probably in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah (Jer 1:2; compare Jer 3:6, "also … in …days of Josiah"). The warning not to rely as they did on Egypt (Jer 2:18), was in accordance withJosiah's policy, who took part with Assyria and Babylon against Egypt (2Ki 23:29). Jeremiah,doubtless, supported the reformation begun by Josiah, in the previous year (the twelfth of his reign),and fully carried out in the eighteenth.2. cry—proclaim.Jerusalem—the headquarters and center of their idolatry; therefore addressed first.thee—rather, "I remember in regard to thee" [Henderson]; "for thee" [Maurer].kindness of thy youth—not so much Israel's kindness towards God, as the kindness whichIsrael experienced from God in their early history (compare Eze 16:8, 22, 60; 23:3, 8, 19; Ho 2:15).For Israel from the first showed perversity rather than kindness towards God (compare Ex 14:11,12; 15:24; 32:1-7, &c.). The greater were God's favors to them from the first, the fouler was theiringratitude in forsaking Him (Jer 2:3, 5, &c.).espousals—the intervals between Israel's betrothal to God at the exodus from Egypt, and theformal execution of the marriage contract at Sinai. Ewald takes the "kindness" and "love" to beIsrael's towards God at first (Ex 19:8; 24:3; 35:20-29; 36:5; Jos 24:16-17). But compare De 32:16,17; Eze 16:5, 6, 15, 22 ("days of thy youth") implies that the love here meant was on God's side,not Israel's.thou wentest after me in … wilderness—the next act of God's love, His leading them in thedesert without needing any strange god, such as they since worshipped, to help Him (De 2:7; 32:12).Jer 2:6 shows it is God's "leading" of them, not their following after God in the wilderness, whichis implied.3. holiness unto the Lord—that is, was consecrated to the service of Jehovah (Ex 19:5, 6).They thus answered to the motto on their high priest's breastplate, "Holiness to the Lord" (De 7:6;14:2, 21).first-fruits of his increase—that is, of Jehovah's produce. As the first-fruits of the wholeproduce of the land were devoted to God (Ex 23:19; Nu 18:12, 13), so Israel was devoted to Himas the first-fruit and representative nation among all nations. So the spiritual Israel (Jas 1:18; Re14:4).devour—carrying on the image of first-fruits which were eaten before the Lord by the priestsas the Lord's representatives; all who ate (injured) Jehovah's first-fruits (Israel), contracted guilt:for example, Amalek, the Amorites, &c., were extirpated for their guilt towards Israel.shall come—rather, "came."4. Jacob … Israel—the whole nation.families—(See on Jer 1:15). Hear God's word not only collectively, but individually (Zec12:12-14).5. iniquity—wrong done to them (Isa 5:4; Mic 6:3; compare De 32:4).walked after vanity—contrasted with "walkest after me in the wilderness" (Jer 2:2): then Iwas their guide in the barren desert; now they take idols as their guides.vanity … vain—An idol is not only vain (impotent and empty), but vanity itself. Its worshippersacquire its character, becoming vain as it is (De 7:26; Ps 115:8). A people's character never risesabove that of its gods, which are its "better nature" [Bacon] (2Ki 17:15; Jon 2:8).1253JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. Neither said they, Where, &c.—The very words which God uses (Isa 63:9, 11, 13), when,as it were, reminding Himself of His former acts of love to Israel as a ground for interposing intheir behalf again. When they would not say, Where is Jehovah, &c., God Himself at last said it forthem (compare see on Jer 2:2).deserts … pits—The desert between Mount Sinai and Palestine abounds in chasms and pits,in which beasts of burden often sink down to the knees. "Shadow of death" refers to the darknessof the caverns amidst the rocky precipices (De 8:15; 32:10).7. plentiful—literally, "a land of Carmel," or "well-cultivated land": a garden land, in contrastto the "land of deserts" (Jer 2:6).defiled—by idolatries (Jud 2:10-17; Ps 78:58, 59; 106:38).you … ye—change to the second person from the third, "they" (Jer 2:6), in order to bring homethe guilt to the living generation.8. The three leading classes, whose very office under the theocracy was to lead the people toGod, disowned Him in the same language as the nation at large, "Where is the Lord?" (See Jer 2:6).priests—whose office it was to expound the law (Mal 2:6, 7).handle—are occupied with the law as the subject of their profession.pastors—civil, not religious: princes (Jer 3:15), whose duty it was to tend their people.prophets—who should have reclaimed the people from their apostasy, encouraged them in itby pretended oracles from Baal, the Phoenician false Baal—in his name and by his authority (compare Jer 11:21).walked after things … not profit—answering to, "walked after vanity," that is, idols (Jer 2:5;compare Jer 2:11; Hab 2:18).9. yet plead—namely, by inflicting still further judgments on you.children's children—Three manuscripts and Jerome omit "children's"; they seem to have thoughtit unsuitable to read "children's children," when "children" had not preceded. But it is designedlyso written, to intimate that the final judgment on the nation would be suspended for many generations[Horsley]. (Compare Eze 20:35, 36; Mic 6:2).10. pass over the isles—rather, "cross over to the isles."Chittim … Kedar—that is, the heathen nations, west and east. Go where you will, you cannotfind an instance of any heathen nation forsaking their own for other gods. Israel alone does this.Yet the heathen gods are false gods; whereas Israel, in forsaking Me for other gods, forsake their"glory" for unprofitable idols.Chittim—Cyprus, colonized by Phoenicians, who built in it the city of Citium, the modernChitti. Then the term came to be applied to all maritime coasts of the Mediterranean, especiallyGreece (Nu 24:24; Isa 23:1; Da 11:30).Kedar—descended from Ishmael; the Bedouins and Arabs, east of Palestine.11. glory—Jehovah, the glory of Israel (Ps 106:20; Ro 1:23). The Shekinah, or cloud restingon the sanctuary, was the symbol of "the glory of the Lord" (1Ki 8:11; compare Ro 9:4). The goldencalf was intended as an image of the true God (compare Ex 32:4, 5), yet it is called an "idol" (Ac7:41). It (like Roman Catholic images) was a violation of the second commandment, as the heathenmultiplying of gods is a violation of the first.not profit—(Jer 2:8).12. Impassioned personification (Isa 1:2).horribly afraid—rather, be horrified."1254JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbe … very desolate—rather, "be exceedingly aghast" at the monstrous spectacle. Literally, "tobe dried up," or "devastated," (places devastated have such an unsightly look) [Maurer].13. two evils—not merely one evil, like the idolaters who know no better; besides simpleidolatry, My people add the sin of forsaking the true God whom they have known; the heathen,though having the sin of idolatry, are free from the further sin of changing the true God for idols(Jer 2:11).forsaken me—The Hebrew collocation brings out the only living God into more prominentcontrast with idol nonentities. "Me they have forsaken, the Fountain," &c. (Jer 17:13; Ps 36:9; Joh4:14).broken cisterns—tanks for rain water, common in the East, where wells are scarce. The tanksnot only cannot give forth an ever-flowing fresh supply as fountains can, but cannot even retainthe water poured into them; the stonework within being broken, the earth drinks up the collectedwater. So, in general, all earthly, compared with heavenly, means of satisfying man's highest wants(Isa 55:1, 2; compare Lu 12:33).14. is he a homeborn slave—No. "Israel is Jehovah's son, even His first-born" (Ex 4:22). Jer2:16, 18, 36, and the absence of any express contrast of the two parts of the nation are againstEichorn's view, that the prophet proposes to Judah, as yet spared, the case of Israel (the ten tribes)which had been carried away by Assyria as a warning of what they might expect if they should stillput their trust in Egypt. "Were Israel's ten tribes of meaner birth than Judah? Certainly not. If, then,the former fell before Assyria, what can Judah hope from Egypt against Assyria? … Israel" is ratherhere the whole of the remnant still left in their own land, that is, Judah. "How comes it to pass thatthe nation which once was under God's special protection (Jer 2:3) is now left at the mercy of thefoe as a worthless slave?" The prophet sees this event as if present, though it was still future toJudah (Jer 2:19).15. lions—the Babylonian princes (Jer 4:7; compare Am 3:4). The disaster from the Babyloniansin the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, and again three years later when, relying on Egypt, herevolted from Nebuchadnezzar, is here referred to (Jer 46:2; 2Ki 24:1, 2).16. Noph … Tahapanes—Memphis, capital of Lower Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile,near the pyramids of Gizeh, opposite the site of modern Cairo. Daphne, on the Tanitic branch ofthe Nile, near Pelusium, on the frontier of Egypt towards Palestine. Isa 30:4 contracts it, Hanes.These two cities, one the capital, the other that with which the Jews came most in contact, standfor the whole of Egypt. Tahapanes takes its name from a goddess, Tphnet [Champollion]. Memphisis from Man-nofri, "the abode of good men"; written in Hebrew, Moph (Ho 9:6), or Noph. Thereference is to the coming invasion of Judah by Pharaoh-necho of Egypt, on his return from theEuphrates, when he deposed Jehoahaz and levied a heavy tribute on the land (2Ki 23:33-35). Josiah'sdeath in battle with the same Pharaoh is probably included (2Ki 23:29, 30).have broken—rather, shall feed down the crown, &c., that is, affect with the greatest ignominy,such as baldness was regarded in the East (Jer 48:37; 2Ki 2:23). Instead of "also," translate, "even"the Egyptians, in whom thou dost trust, shall miserably disappoint thy expectation [Maurer]. Jehoiakimwas twice leagued with them (2Ki 23:34, 35): when he received the crown from them, and whenhe revolted from Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:1, 2, 7). The Chaldeans, having become masters of Asia,threatened Egypt. Judea, situated between the contending powers, was thus exposed to the inroadsof the one or other of the hostile armies; and unfortunately, except in Josiah's reign, took side withEgypt, contrary to God's warnings.1255JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. Literally, "Has not thy forsaking the Lord … procured this (calamity) to thee?" So theSeptuagint: the Masoretic accents make "this" the subject of the verb, leaving the object to beunderstood. "Has not this procured (it, that is, the impending calamity) unto thee, that hast forsaken?"&c. (Jer 4:18).led—(De 32:10).the way—The article expresses the right way, the way of the Lord: namely, the moral trainingwhich they enjoyed in the Mosaic covenant.18. now—used in a reasoning sense, not of time.the way of Egypt—What hast thou to do with the way, that is, with going down to Egypt; orwhat … with going to Assyria?drink … waters—that is, to seek reinvigorating aid from them; so Jer 2:13, 36; compare"waters," meaning numerous forces (Isa 8:7).Sihor—that is, the black river, in Greek, Melas ("black"), the Nile: so called from the blackdeposit or soil it leaves after the inundation (Isa 23:3). The Septuagint identifies it with Gihon, oneof the rivers of Paradise.the river—Euphrates, called by pre-eminence, the river; figurative for the Assyrian power. In625 B.C., the seventeenth year of Josiah, and the fourth of Jeremiah's office, the kingdom of Assyriafell before Babylon, therefore Assyria is here put for Babylon its successor: so in 2Ki 23:29; La5:6. There was doubtless a league between Judea and Assyria (that is, Babylon), which causedJosiah to march against Pharaoh-necho of Egypt when that king went against Babylon: the evilconsequences of this league are foretold in this verse and Jer 2:36.19. correct … reprove—rather, in the severer sense, "chastise … punish" [Maurer].backslidings—"apostasies"; plural, to express the number and variety of their defections. Thevery confederacies they entered into were the occasion of their overthrow (Pr 1:31; Isa 3:9; Ho5:5).know … see—imperative for futures: Thou shalt know and see to thy fear—rather, "the fear of Me."20. I—the Hebrew should be pointed as the second person feminine, a form common in Jeremiah:"Thou hast broken," &c. So the Septuagint, and the sense requires it.thy yoke … bands—the yoke and bands which I laid on thee, My laws (Jer 5:5).transgress—so the Keri, and many manuscripts read. But the Septuagint and most authoritiesread, "I will not serve," that is, obey. The sense of English Version is, "I broke thy yoke (in Egypt),"&c., "and (at that time) thou saidst, I will not transgress; whereas thou hast (since then) wandered(from Me)" (Ex 19:8).hill … green tree—the scene of idolatries (De 12:2; Isa 57:5, 7).wanderest—rather, "thou hast bowed down thyself" (for the act of adultery: figurative ofshameless idolatry, Ex 34:15, 16; compare Job 31:10).21. The same image as in De 32:32; Ps 80:8, 9; Isa 5:1, &c.unto me—with respect to Me.22. nitre—not what is now so called, namely, saltpeter; but the natron of Egypt, a mineralalkali, an incrustation at the bottom of the lakes, after the summer heat has evaporated the water:used for washing (compare Job 9:30; Pr 25:20).soap—potash, the carbonate of which is obtained impure from burning different plants, especiallythe kali of Egypt and Arabia. Mixed with oil it was used for washing.1256JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmarked—deeply ingrained, indelibly marked; the Hebrew, catham, being equivalent to cathab.Others translate, "is treasured up," from the Arabic. Maurer from a Syriac root, "is polluted."23. (Pr 30:12).Baalim—plural, to express manifold excellency: compare Elohim.see—consider.the valley—namely, of Hinnom, or Tophet, south and east of Jerusalem: rendered infamousby the human sacrifices to Moloch in it (compare Jer 19:2, 6, 13, 14; 32:35; see on Isa 30:33).thou art—omit. The substantive that follows in this verse (and also that in Jer 2:24) is inapposition with the preceding "thou."dromedary—rather, a "young she-camel."traversing—literally, "enfolding"; making its ways complicated by wandering hither and thither,lusting after the male. Compare as to the Jews' spiritual lust, Ho 2:6, 7.24. (Jer 14:6; Job 39:5). "A wild ass," agreeing with "thou" (Jer 2:23).at her pleasure—rather, "in her ardor," namely, in pursuit of a male, sniffing the wind toascertain where one is to be found [Maurer].occasion—either from a Hebrew root, "to meet"; "her meeting (with the male for sexualintercourse), who can avert it?" Or better from an Arabic root: "her heat (sexual impulse), who canallay it?" [Maurer].all they—whichever of the males desire her company [Horsley].will not weary themselves—have no need to weary themselves in searching for her.her month—in the season of the year when her sexual impulse is strongest, she puts herselfin the way of the males, so that they have no difficulty in finding her.25. Withhold, &c.—that is, abstain from incontinence; figuratively for idolatry [Houbigant].unshod, &c.—do not run so violently in pursuing lovers, as to wear out thy shoes: do not "thirst"so incontinently after sexual intercourse. Hitzig thinks the reference is to penances performed barefootto idols, and the thirst occasioned by loud and continued invocations to hope—(Jer 18:12; Isa 57:10). "It is hopeless," that is, I am desperately resolved to go on inmy own course.strangers—that is, laying aside the metaphor, "strange gods" (Jer 3:13; De 32:16).26. is ashamed—is put to shame.thief—(Joh 10:1).Israel—that is, Judah (Jer 2:28).27. Thou art my father—(Contrast Jer 3:4; Isa 64:8).in … trouble they will say—namely, to God (Ps 78:34; Isa 26:16). Trouble often brings mento their senses (Lu 15:16-18).28. But—God sends them to the gods for whom they forsook Him, to see if they can help them(De 32:37, 38; Jud 10:14).according to the number of thy cities—Besides national deities, each city had its tutelary god(Jer 11:13).29. plead with me—that is, contend with Me for afflicting you (Jer 2:23, 35).30. (Jer 5:3; 6:29; Isa 1:5; 9:13).your children—that is, your people, you.your … sword … devoured … prophets—(2Ch 36:16; Ne 9:26; Mt 23:29, 31).1257JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson31. The Hebrew collocation is, "O, the generation, ye," that is, "O ye who now live." Thegeneration needed only to be named, to call its degeneracy to view, so palpable was it.wilderness—in which all the necessaries of life are wanting. On the contrary, Jehovah was anever-failing source of supply for all Israel's wants in the wilderness, and afterwards in Canaan.darkness—literally, "darkness of Jehovah," the strongest Hebrew term for "darkness; the densestdarkness"; compare "land of the shadow of death" (Jer 2:6).We are lords—that is, We are our own masters. We will worship what gods we like (Ps 12:4;82:6). But it is better to translate from a different Hebrew root: "We ramble at large," withoutrestraint pursuing our idolatrous lusts.32. Oriental women greatly pride themselves on their ornaments (compare Isa 61:10).attire—girdles for the breast.forgotten me—(Jer 13:25; Ho 8:14).33. Why trimmest—Maurer translates, "How skilfully thou dost prepare thy way," &c. But see2Ki 9:30. "Trimmest" best suits the image of one decking herself as a harlot.way—course of life.therefore—accordingly. Or else, "nay, thou hast even," &c.also … wicked ones—even the wicked harlots, that is, (laying aside the metaphor) even theGentiles who are wicked, thou teachest to be still more so [Grotius].34. Also—not only art thou polluted with idolatry, but also with the guilt of shedding innocentblood [Maurer]. Rosenmuller not so well translates, "even in thy skirts," &c.; that is, there is no partof thee (not even thy skirts) that is not stained with innocent blood (Jer 19:4; 2Ki 21:16; Ps 106:38).See as to innocent blood shed, not as here in honor of idols, but of prophets for having reprovedthem (Jer 2:30; Jer 26:20-23).souls—that is,—I did not need to "search deep" to find proof of thy guilt; for it was "upon all these"thy skirts. Not in deep caverns didst thou perpetrate these atrocities, but openly in the vale of Hinnomand within the precincts of the temple.35. (Jer 2:23, 29).36. gaddest—runnest to and fro, now seeking help from Assyria (2Ch 28:16-21), now fromEgypt (Jer 37:7, 8; Isa 30:3).37. him—Egypt.hands upon … head—expressive of mourning (2Sa 13:19).in them—in those stays in which thou trustest.CHAPTER 3Jer 3:1-25. God's Mercy notwithstanding Judah's Vileness.Contrary to all precedent in the case of adultery, Jehovah offers a return to Judah, the spiritualadulteress (Jer 3:1-5). A new portion of the book, ending with the sixth chapter. Judah worse thanIsrael; yet both shall be restored in the last days (Jer 3:6-25).1. They say—rather, as Hebrew, "saying," in agreement with "the Lord"; Jer 2:37 of last chapter[Maurer]. Or, it is equivalent to, "Suppose this case." Some copyist may have omitted, "The wordof the Lord came to me," saying.1258JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonshall he return unto her—will he take her back? It was unlawful to do so (De 24:1-4).shall not—Should not the land be polluted if this were done?yet return—(Jer 3:22; Jer 4:1; Zec 1:3; compare Eze 16:51, 58, 60). "Nevertheless," &c. (seeon Isa 50:1).2. high places—the scene of idolatries which were spiritual adulteries.In … ways … sat for them—watching for lovers like a prostitute (Ge 38:14, 21; Pr 7:12; 23:28;Eze 16:24, 25), and like an Arab who lies in wait for travellers. The Arabs of the desert, east andsouth of Palestine, are still notorious as robbers.3. no latter rain—essential to the crops in Palestine; withheld in judgment (Le 26:19; compareJoe 2:23).whore's forehead—(Jer 8:12; Eze 3:8).4. from this time—not referring, as Michaelis thinks, to the reformation begun the year before,that is, the twelfth of Josiah; it means—now at once, now at—contrasted with the "stock" whom they had heretofore called on as "father" (Jer 2:27; Lu15:18).thou art—rather, "thou wast."guide of … youth—that is, husband (Jer 2:2; Pr 2:17; Ho 2:7, 15). Husband and father are thetwo most endearing of ties.5. he—"thou," the second person, had preceded. The change to the third person implies a puttingaway of God to a greater distance from them; instead of repenting and forsaking their idols, theymerely deprecate the continuance of their punishment. Jer 3:12 and Ps 103:9, answer their questionin the event of their penitence.spoken and—rather (God's reply to them), "Thou hast spoken (thus), and yet (all the while)thou hast done evil," & thou couldest—with all thy might; with incorrigible persistency [Calvin].6. Jer 3:6-6:30, is a new discourse, delivered in Josiah's reign. It consists of two parts, the formerextending to Jer 4:3, in which he warns Judah from the example of Israel's doom, and yet promisesIsrael final restoration; the latter a threat of Babylonian invasion; as Nabopolassar founded theBabylonian empire, 625 B.C., the seventeenth of Josiah, this prophecy is perhaps not earlier thanthat date (Jer 4:5, &c.; Jer 5:14, &c.; Jer 6:1, &c.; Jer 22:1-30); and probably not later than thesecond thorough reformation in the eighteenth year of the same reign.backsliding—literally, "apostasy"; not merely apostate, but apostasy itself, the essence of it(Jer 3:14, 22).7. I said—(2Ki 17:13).sister—(Eze 16:46; 23:2, 4).8. I saw that, though (whereas) it was for this very reason (namely), because backsliding(apostate) Israel had committed adultery I had put her away (2Ki 17:6, 18), and given her a bill ofdivorce, yet Judah, &c. (Eze 23:11, &c.).bill of divorce—literally, "a writing of cuttings off." The plural implies the completeness ofthe severance. The use of this metaphor here, as in the former discourse (Jer 3:1), implies a closeconnection between the discourses. The epithets are characteristic; Israel "apostate" (as the Hebrewfor "backsliding" is better rendered); Judah, not as yet utterly apostate, but treacherous or faithless.also—herself also, like Israel.1259JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. it—Some take this verse of Judah, to whom the end of Jer 3:8 refers. But Jer 3:10 puts Judahin contrast to Israel in this verse. "Yet for all this," referring to the sad example of Israel; if Jer 3:9referred to Judah, "she" would have been written in Jer 3:10, not "Judah." Translate, "It (the puttingaway of Israel) had come to pass through … whoredom; and (that is, for) she (Israel) had defiledthe land" &c. [Maurer]. English Version, however, may be explained to refer to Israel.lightness—"infamy." [Ewald]. Maurer not so well takes it from the Hebrew root, "voice," "fame."10. yet—notwithstanding the lesson given in Israel's case of the fatal results of apostasy.not … whole heart—The reformation in the eighteenth year of Josiah was not thorough on thepart of the people, for at his death they relapsed into idolatry (2Ch 34:33; Ho 7:14).11. justified herself—has been made to appear almost just (that is, comparatively innocent)by the surpassing guilt of Judah, who adds hypocrisy and treachery to her sin; and who had theexample of Israel to warn her, but in vain (compare Eze 16:51; 23:11).more than—in comparison with.12. Go—not actually; but turn and proclaim towards the north (Media and Assyria, where theten tribes were located by Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser, 2Ki 15:29; 17:6; 18:9, 11).Return … backsliding—Hebrew, Shubah, Meshubah, a play on sounds. In order to exciteJudah to godly jealousy (Ro 11:14), Jehovah addresses the exiled ten tribes of Israel with a lovinginvitation.cause … anger to fall—literally, "I will not let fall My countenance" (compare Ge 4:5, 6; Job29:3), that is, I will not continue to frown on you.keep—"anger" is to be supplied (see on Jer 3:5).13. Only acknowledge—(De 30:1, 3; Pr 28:13).scattered thy ways, &c.—(Jer 2:25). Not merely the calves at Beth-el, but the idols in everydirection, were the objects of their worship (Eze 16:15, 24, 25).14. I am married—literally, "I am Lord," that is, husband to you (so Jer 31:32; compare Ho2:19, 20; Isa 54:5). Gesenius, following the Septuagint version of Jer 31:32, and Paul's quotation ofit (Heb 8:9), translates, "I have rejected you"; so the corresponding Arabic, and the idea of lordship,may pass into that of looking down upon, and so rejecting. But the Septuagint in this passagetranslates, "I will be Lord over you." And the "for" has much more force in English Version thanin that of Gesenius. The Hebrew hardly admits the rendering though [Hengstenberg].take you one of a city—Though but one or two Israelites were in a (foreign) city, they shallnot be forgotten; all shall be restored (Am 9:9). So, in the spiritual Israel, God gathers one converthere, another there, into His Church; not the least one is lost (Mt 18:14; Ro 11:5; compare Jer24:5-7).family—a clan or tribe.15. pastors—not religious, but civil rulers, as Zerubbabel, Nehemiah (Jer 23:4; 2:8).16. they shall say no more—The Jews shall no longer glory in the possession of the ark; itshall not be missed, so great shall be the blessings of the new dispensation. The throne of the Lord,present Himself, shall eclipse and put out of mind the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat betweenthe cherubim, God's former throne. The ark, containing the two tables of the law, disappeared atthe Babylonian captivity, and was not restored to the second temple, implying that the symbolical"glory" was to be superseded by a "greater glory" (Hag 2:9).neither … visit it—rather, "neither shall it be missed" (so in Jer 23:4).done—rather, "neither shall it (the ark) be made (that is, be restored) any more" [Maurer].1260JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. Jerusalem—the whole city, not merely the temple. As it has been the center of the Hebrewtheocracy, so it shall be the point of attraction to the whole earth (Isa 2:2-4; Zec 2:10, 11; 14:16-21).throne of … Lord—The Shekinah, the symbol of God's peculiar nearness to Israel (De 4:7)shall be surpassed by the antitype, God's own throne in Jerusalem (Ps 2:6, 8; Eze 34:23, 24; Zec2:5).imagination—rather, as Margin, "the obstinacy" or stubbornness.18. Judah … Israel … together—Two distinct apostasies, that of Israel and that of Judah,were foretold (Jer 3:8, 10). The two have never been united since the Babylonish captivity; thereforetheir joint restoration must be still future (Isa 11:12, 13; Eze 37:16-22; Ho 1:11).north—(Jer 3:12).land … given … inheritance—(Am 9:15).19. The good land covenanted to Abraham is to be restored to his seed. But the question arises,How shall this be done?put … among … children—the Greek for adoption means, literally, "putting among the sons."the children—that is, My children. "How shall I receive thee back into My family, after thouhast so long forsaken Me for idols?" The answer is, they would acknowledge Him as "Father," andno longer turn away from Him. God assumes the language of one wondering how so desperateapostates could be restored to His family and its privileges (compare Eze 37:3; Calvin makes it, Howthe race of Abraham can be propagated again, being as it were dead); yet as His purpose hasdecreed it so, He shows how it shall be effected, namely, they shall receive from Him the spirit ofadoption to cry, "My Father" (Joh 1:12; Ga 4:6). The elect are "children" already in God's purpose;this is the ground of the subsequent realization of this relationship (Eph 1:5; Heb 2:13).pleasant land—(Jer 11:5; Eze 20:6; Da 11:16, Margin).heritage of … hosts—a heritage the most goodly of all nations [Maurer]; or a "heritage possessedby powerful hosts" (De 4:38; Am 2:9). The rendering "splendors," instead of "hosts," is opposedby the fact that the Hebrew for "splendor" is not found in the plural.20. Surely—rather, "But."husband—literally, "friend."21. In harmony with the preceding promises of God, the penitential confessions of Israel areheard.high places—The scene of their idolatries is the scene of their confessions. Compare Jer 3:23,in which they cast aside their trust in these idolatrous high places. The publicity of their penitenceis also implied (compare Jer 7:29; 48:38).22. Jehovah's renewed invitation (Jer 3:12, 14) and their immediate response.heal—forgive (2Ch 30:18, 20; Ho 14:4).unto thee—rather, "in obedience to thee"; literally, "for thee" [Rosenmuller].23. multitude of mountains—that is, the multitude of gods worshipped on them (compare Ps121:1, 2, Margin).24. shame—that is, the idols, whose worship only covers us with shame (Jer 11:13; Ho 9:10).So far from bringing us "salvation," they have cost us our cattle and even our children, whom wehave sacrificed to them.25. (Ezr 9:7).1261JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 4Jer 4:1-31. Continuation of Address to the Ten Tribes of Israel. (Jer 4:1, 2). The Prophet Turns Again to Judah,to Whom He Had Originally Been Sent (Jer 4:3-31).1. return … return—play on words. "If thou wouldest return to thy land (thou must first),return (by conversion and repentance) to Me."not remove—no longer be an unsettled wanderer in a strange land. So Cain (Ge 4:12, 14).2. And thou—rather, "And if (carried on from Jer 4:1) thou shalt swear, 'Jehovah liveth,' intruth, &c.", that is, if thou shalt worship Him (for we swear by the God whom we worship; compareDe 6:13; 10:20; Isa 19:18; Am 8:14) in sincerity, &c.and the nations—Rather, this is apodosis to the "if"; then shall the nations bless themselvesin (by) Him" (Isa 65:16). The conversion of the nations will be the consequence of Israel's conversion(Ps 102:13, 15; Ro 11:12, 15).3. Transition to Judah. Supply mentally. All which (the foregoing declaration as to Israel) appliesto Judah.and Jerusalem—that is, and especially the men of Jerusalem, as being the most prominent inJudea.Break … fallow ground—that is, Repent of your idolatry, and so be prepared to serve the Lordin truth (Ho 10:12; Mt 13:7). The unhumbled heart is like ground which may be improved, beinglet out to us for that purpose, but which is as yet fallow, overgrown with weeds, its natural product.4. Remove your natural corruption of heart (De 10:16; 30:6; Ro 2:29; Col 2:11).5. cry, gather together—rather, "cry fully" that is, loudly. The Jews are warned to take measuresagainst the impending Chaldean invasion (compare Jer 8:14).6. Zion—The standard toward Zion intimated that the people of the surrounding country wereto fly to it, as being the strongest of their fortresses.7. lion—Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans (Jer 2:15; 5:6; Da 7:14).his thicket—lair; Babylon.destroyer of the Gentiles—rather, "the nations" (Jer 25:9).8. Nothing is left to the Jews but to bewail their desperate condition.anger … not turned back—(Isa 9:12, 17, 21).9. heart—The wisdom of the most leading men will be utterly at a loss to devise means ofrelief.10. thou hast … deceived—God, having even the false prophets in His hands, is here said todo that which for inscrutable purposes He permits them to do (Ex 9:12; 2Th 2:11; compare Jer8:15; which passage shows that the dupes of error were self-prepared for it, and that God'spredestination did not destroy their moral freedom as voluntary agents). The false prophets foretold"peace," and the Jews believed them; God overruled this to His purposes (Jer 5:12; 14:13; Eze14:9).soul—rather, "reacheth to the life."11. dry wind—the simoom, terrific and destructive, blowing from the southeast across thesandy deserts east of Palestine. Image of the invading Babylonian army (Ho 13:15). Babylon in itsturn shall be visited by a similar "destroying wind" (Jer 51:1).of … high places—that is, that sweeps over the high places.daughter—that is, the children of my people.1262JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot to fan—a very different wind from those ordinary winds employed for fanning the grainin the open air.12. full … from those places—rather, "a wind fuller (that is, more impetuous) than thosewinds" (which fan the corn) (Jer 4:11) [Rosenmuller].unto me—"for Me," as My instrument for executing My purpose.sentence—judgments against them (Jer 1:16).13. clouds—continuing the metaphor in Jer 4:11:12. Clouds of sand and dust accompany thesimoom, and after rapid gyrations ascend like a pillar.eagles—(De 28:49; Hab 1:8).Woe unto us—The people are graphically presented before us, without it being formally sostated, bursting out in these exclamations.14. Only one means of deliverance is left to the Jews—a thorough repentance.vain thoughts—namely, projects for deliverance, such as enlisting the Egyptians on their side.Gesenius translates, "How long wilt thou harbor vain thoughts?"15. For … from Dan—The connection is: There is danger in delay; for the voice of a messengerannounces the approach of the Chaldean enemy from Dan, the northern frontier of Palestine (Jer8:16; compare Jer 4:6; Jer 1:14).Mount Ephraim—which borders closely on Judah; so that the foe is coming nearer and nearer.Dan and Beth-el in Ephraim were the two places where Jeroboam set up the idolatrous calves (1Ki12:29); just retribution.16. The neighboring foreign "nations" are summoned to witness Jehovah's judgments on Hisrebel people (Jer 6:18, 19).watchers—that is, besiegers (compare 2Sa 11:16); observed or watched, that is, besieged.their voice—the war shout.17. keepers of a field—metaphor from those who watch a field, to frighten away the wildbeasts.18. (Jer 2:17, 19; Ps 107:17).this is thy wickedness—that is, the fruit of thy wickedness.19. The prophet suddenly assumes the language of the Jewish state personified, lamenting itsaffliction (Jer 10:19, 20; 9:1, 10; Isa 15:5; compare Lu 19:41).at my very heart—Hebrew, "at the walls of my heart"; the muscles round the heart. There isa climax, the "bowels," the pericardium, the "heart" itself.maketh … noise—moaneth [Henderson].alarm—the battle shout.20. Destruction … cried—Breach upon breach is announced (Ps 42:7; Eze 7:26). The war"trumpet" … the battle shout … the "destructions" … the havoc throughout "the whole land" …the spoiling of the shepherds' "tents" (Jer 10:20; or, "tents" means cities, which should be overthrownas easily as tents [Calvin]), form a gradation.21. Judah in perplexity asks, How long is this state of things to continue?22. Jehovah's reply; they cannot be otherwise than miserable, since they persevere in sin. Therepetition of clauses gives greater force to the sentiment.wise … evil … to do good … no knowledge—reversing the rule (Ro 16:19) "wise unto …good, simple concerning evil."1263JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson23. Graphic picture of the utter desolation about to visit Palestine. "I beheld, and lo!" four timessolemnly repeated, heightens the awful effect of the scene (compare Isa 24:19; 34:11).without form and void—reduced to the primeval chaos (Ge 1:2).24. mountains—(Isa 5:25).moved lightly—shook vehemently.25. no man … birds—No vestige of the human, or of the feathered creation, is to be seen (Eze38:20; Zep 1:3).26. fruitful place—Hebrew, Carmel.a wilderness—Hebrew, "the wilderness," in contrast to "the fruitful place"; the great desert,where Carmel was, there is now the desert of Arabia [Maurer].cities—in contrast to the fruitful place or field.27. full end—utter destruction: I will leave some hope of restoration (Jer 5:10, 18; 30:11; 46:28;compare Le 26:44).28. For this—on account of the desolations just described (Isa 5:30; Ho 4:3).not repent—(Nu 23:19).29. whole city—Jerusalem: to it the inhabitants of the country had fled for refuge; but when it,too, is likely to fall, they flee out of it to hide in the "thickets." Henderson translates, "every city."noise—The mere noise of the hostile horsemen shall put you to flight.30. when thou art spoiled—rather, "thou, O destroyed one" [Maurer].rentest … face with painting—Oriental women paint their eyes with stibium, or antimony, tomake them look full and sparkling, the black margin causing the white of the eyes to appear thebrighter by contrast (2Ki 9:30). He uses the term "distendest" in derision of their effort to maketheir eyes look large [Maurer]; or else, "rentest," that is, dost lacerate by puncturing the eyelid inorder to make the antimony adhere [Rosenmuller]. So the Jews use every artifice to secure the aid ofEgypt against Babylon.face—rather, thy eyes (Eze 23:40).31. anguish—namely, occasioned by the attack of the enemy.daughter of Zion—There is peculiar beauty in suppressing the name of the person in trouble,until that trouble had been fully described [Henderson].bewaileth herself—rather, "draweth her breath short" [Horsley]; "panteth."spreadeth … hands—(La 1:17).CHAPTER 5Jer 5:1-31. The Cause of the Judgments to Be Inflicted Is the Universal Corruption of the People.1. a man—As the pious Josiah, Baruch, and Zephaniah lived in Jerusalem at that time, Jeremiahmust here mean the mass of the people, the king, his counsellors, the false prophets, and the priests,as distinguished from the faithful few, whom God had openly separated from the reprobate people;among the latter not even one just person was to be found (Isa 9:16) [Calvin]; the godly, moreover,were forbidden to intercede for them (Jer 7:16; compare Ge 18:23, &c.; Ps 12:1; Eze 22:30).see … know—look … ascertain.judgment—justice, righteousness.pardon it—rather, her.1264JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. (Tit 1:16).swear falsely—not a judicial oath; but their profession of the worship of Jehovah is insincere(Jer 5:7; Jer 4:2). The reformation under Josiah was merely superficial in the case of the majority.3. eyes upon the truth—(De 32:4; 2Ch 16:9). "Truth" is in contrast with "swear falsely" (Jer5:2). The false-professing Jews could expect nothing but judgments from the God of truth.stricken … not grieved—(Jer 2:30; Isa 1:5; 9:13).refused … correction—(Jer 7:28; Zep 3:2).4. poor—rather, "the poor." He supposes for the moment that this utter depravity is confinedto the uninstructed poor, and that he would find a different state of things in the higher ranks: butthere he finds unbridled profligacy.5. they have known—rather, "they must know." The prophet supposes it as probable,considering their position.but these—I found the very reverse to be the case.burst … bonds—set God's law at defiance (Ps 2:3).6. lion … wolf … leopard—the strongest, the most ravenous, and the swiftest, respectively,of beasts: illustrating the formidable character of the Babylonians.of the evenings—Others not so well translate, of the deserts. The plural means that it goesforth every evening to seek its prey (Ps 104:20; Hab 1:8; Zep 3:3).leopard … watch … cities—(Ho 13:7). It shall lie in wait about their cities.7. It would not be consistent with God's holiness to let such wickedness pass unpunished.sworn by—(Jer 5:2; Jer 4:2); that is, gods—(De 32:21).fed … to the full—so the Keri (Hebrew Margin) reads. God's bountifulness is contrasted withtheir apostasy (De 32:15). Prosperity, the gift of God, designed to lead men to Him, often producesthe opposite effect. The Hebrew Chetib (text) reads: "I bound them (to Me) by oath," namely, inthe marriage covenant, sealed at Sinai between God and Israel; in contrast to which stands their"adultery"; the antithesis favors this.adultery … harlots' houses—spiritually: idolatry in temples of idols; but literal prostitutionis also included, being frequently part of idol-worship: for example, in the worship of the BabylonianMylitta.8. in the morning—(Isa 5:11). "Rising early in the morning" is a phrase for unceasing eagernessin any pursuit; such was the Jews' avidity after idol-worship. Maurer translates from a differentHebrew root, "continually wander to and fro," inflamed with lust (Jer 2:23). But English Versionis simpler (compare Jer 13:27; Eze 22:11).9. (Jer 5:29; Jer 9:9; 44:22).10. Abrupt apostrophe to the Babylonians, to take Jerusalem, but not to destroy the nationutterly (see on Jer 4:27).battlements—rather, tendrils [Maurer]: the state being compared to a vine (Jer 12:10), the stemof which was to be spared, while the tendrils (the chief men) were to be removed.11. (Jer 3:20).12. belied—denied.It is not he—rather, "(Jehovah) is not He," that is, the true and only God (Jer 14:22; De 32:39;Isa 43:10, 13). By their idolatry they virtually denied Him. Or, referring to what follows, and toJer 5:9, "(Jehovah) is not," namely, about to be the punisher of our sins (Jer 14:13; Isa 28:15).1265JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13. Continuation of the unbelieving language of the Jews.the prophets—who prophesy punishment coming on us.the word—the Holy Spirit, who speaks through true prophets, is not in them [Maurer]. Or else,"There is no word (divine communication) in them" (Ho 1:2) [Rosenmuller].thus, &c.—Their ill-omened prophecies shall fall on themselves.14. ye … thy … this people—He turns away from addressing the people to the prophet; implyingthat He puts them to a distance from Him, and only communicates with them through His prophet(Jer 5:19).fire … wood—Thy denunciations of judgments shall be fulfilled and shall consume them asfire does wood. In Jer 23:29 it is the penetrating energy of fire which is the point of comparison.15. (Jer 1:15; 6:22). Alluding to De 28:49, &c.Israel—that is, Judah.mighty—from an Arabic root, "enduring." The fourfold repetition of "nation" heightens theforce.ancient—The Chaldeans came originally from the Carduchian and Armenian mountains northof Mesopotamia, whence they immigrated into Babylonia; like all mountaineers, they were braveand hardy (see on Isa 23:13).language … knowest not—Isa 36:11 shows that Aramaic was not understood by the "multitude,"but only by the educated classes [Maurer]. Henderson refers it to the original language of theBabylonians, which, he thinks, they brought with them from their native hills, akin to the Persic,not to the Aramaic, or any other Semitic tongue, the parent of the modern Kurd.16. open sepulchre—(Compare Ps 5:9). Their quiver is all-devouring, as the grave opened toreceive the dead: as many as are the arrows, so many are the deaths.17. (Le 26:16).18. Not even in those days of judgments, will God utterly exterminate His people.I will not make a full end with you—(Jer 5:10; Jer 4:27).19. Retribution in kind. As ye have forsaken Me (Jer 2:13), so shall ye be forsaken by Me. Asye have served strange (foreign) gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers (foreigners) in a landnot yours. Compare the similar retribution in De 28:47, 48.21. eyes … ears, and—Translate, "and yet" (compare De 29:4; Isa 6:9). Having powers ofperception, they did not use them: still they were responsible for the exercise of them.22. sand—Though made up of particles easily shifting about, I render it sufficient to curb theviolence of the sea. Such is your monstrous perversity, that the raging, senseless sea sooner obeysMe, than ye do who profess to be intelligent [Calvin], (Job 26:10; 38:10, 11; Pr 8:29; Re 15:4).23. (Jer 6:28).24. rain … former … latter—The "former" falls from the middle of October to the beginningof December. The "latter," or spring rain in Palestine, falls before harvest in March and April, andis essential for ripening the crops (De 11:14; Joe 2:23).weeks of … harvest—the seven weeks between passover and pentecost, beginning on thesixteenth of Nisan (De 16:9). By God's special providence no rain fell in Palestine during the harvestweeks, so that harvest work went on without interruption (see Ge 8:22).25. National guilt had caused the suspension of these national mercies mentioned in Jer 5:24(compare Jer 3:3).26. (Pr 1:11, 17, 18; Hab 1:15).1266JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonas he that setteth snares—rather, "as fowlers crouch" [Maurer].trap—literally, "destruction": the instrument of destruction.catch men—not as Peter, to save (Lu 5:10), but to destroy men.27. full of deceit—full of treasures got by—(Ps 73:12, 18-20).28. shine—the effect of fatness on the skin (De 32:15). They live a life of self-indulgence.overpass … the wicked—exceed even the Gentiles in wickedness (Jer 2:33; Eze 5:6, 7).judge not … fatherless—(Isa 1:23).yet … prosper—(Jer 12:1).29. (Jer 5:9; Mal 3:5).30. (Jer 23:14; Ho 6:10).31. bear rule by their means—literally, "according to their hands," that is, under their guidance(1Ch 25:3). As a sample of the priests lending themselves to the deceits of the false prophets, togain influence over the people, see Jer to have it so—(Mic 2:11).end thereof—the fatal issue of this sinful course when divine judgments shall come.CHAPTER 6Jer 6:1-30. Zion's Foes Prepare War against Her: Her Sins Are the Cause.1. Benjamin—Jerusalem was situated in the tribe of Benjamin, which was here separated fromthat of Judah by the valley of Hinnom. Though it was inhabited partly by Benjamites, partly bymen of Judah, he addresses the former as being his own countrymen.blow … trumpet … Tekoa—Tikehu, Tekoa form a play on sounds. The birthplace of Amos.Beth-haccerem—meaning in Hebrew, "vineyard-house." It and Tekoa were a few miles southof Jerusalem. As the enemy came from the north, the inhabitants of the surrounding country wouldnaturally flee southwards. The fire-signal on the hills gave warning of danger approaching.2. likened—rather, "I lay waste." Literally, "O comely and delicate one, I lay waste the daughterof Zion," that is, "thee." So Zec 3:9, "before Joshua," that is, "before thee" [Maurer].3. shepherds—hostile leaders with their armies (Jer 1:15; 4:17; 49:20; 50:45).feed—They shall consume each one all that is near him; literally, "his hand," that is, the placewhich he occupies (Nu 2:17; see on Isa 56:5).4, 5. The invading soldiers encourage one another to the attack on Jerusalem.Prepare—literally, "Sanctify" war, that is, Proclaim it formally with solemn rites; the invasionwas solemnly ordered by God (compare Isa 13:3).at noon—the hottest part of the day when attacks were rarely made (Jer 15:8; 20:16). Even atthis time they wished to attack, such is their eagerness.Woe unto us—The words of the invaders, mourning the approach of night which would suspendtheir hostile operations; still, even in spite of the darkness, at night they renew the attack (Jer 6:5).6. cast—Hebrew, "pour out"; referring to the emptying of the baskets of earth to make themound, formed of "trees" and earthwork, to overtop the city walls. The "trees" were also used tomake warlike engines.this—pointing the invaders to Jerusalem.1267JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonvisited—that is, punished.wholly oppression—or join "wholly" with "visited," that is, she is altogether (in her wholeextent) to be punished [Maurer].7. fountain—rather, a well dug, from which water springs; distinct from a natural spring orfountain.casteth out—causeth to flow; literally, "causeth to dig," the cause being put for the effect (2Ki21:16, 24; Isa 57:20).me—Jehovah.8. Tender appeal in the midst of threats.depart—Hebrew, "be torn away"; Jehovah's affection making Him unwilling to depart; Hisattachment to Jerusalem was such that an effort was needed to tear Himself from it (Eze 23:18; Ho9:12; 11:8).9. The Jews are the grapes, their enemies the unsparing gleaners.turn back … hand—again and again bring freshly gathered handfuls to the baskets; referringto the repeated carrying away of captives to Babylon (Jer 52:28-30; 2Ki 24:14; 25:11).10. ear is uncircumcised—closed against the precepts of God by the foreskin of carnality (Le26:41; Eze 44:7; Ac 7:51).word … reproach—(Jer 20:8).11. fury of … Lord—His denunciations against Judah communicated to the prophet.weary with holding in—(Jer 20:9).I will pour—or else imperative: the command of God (see Jer 6:12), "Pour it out" [Maurer].aged … full of days—The former means one becoming old; the latter a decrepit old man[Maurer] (Job 5:26; Isa 65:20).12. The very punishments threatened by Moses in the event of disobedience to God (De 28:30).turned—transferred.13. (Jer 8:10; Isa 56:11; Mic 3:11).14. hurt—the spiritual wound.slightly—as if it were but a slight wound; or, in a slight manner, pronouncing all sound wherethere is no soundness.saying—namely, the prophets and priests (Jer 6:13). Whereas they ought to warn the peopleof impending judgments and the need of repentance, they say there is nothing to fear.peace—including soundness. All is sound in the nation's moral state, so all will be peace as toits political state (Jer 4:10; 8:11; 14:13; 23:17; Eze 13:5, 10; 22:28).15. Rosenmuller translates, "They ought to have been ashamed, because … but," &c.; the Hebrewverb often expressing, not the action, but the duty to perform it (Ge 20:9; Mal 2:7). Maurer translates,"They shall be put to shame, for they commit abomination; nay (the prophet correcting himself),there is no shame in them" (Jer 3:3; 8:12; Eze 3:7; Zep 3:5).them that fall—They shall fall with the rest of their people who are doomed to fall, that is, Iwill now cease from words; I will execute vengeance [Calvin].16. Image from travellers who have lost their road, stopping and inquiring which is the rightway on which they once had been, but from which they have wandered.old paths—Idolatry and apostasy are the modern way; the worship of God the old way. Evilis not coeval with good, but a modern degeneracy from good. The forsaking of God is not, in a truesense, a "way cast up" at all (Jer 18:15; Ps 139:24; Mal 4:4).1268JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrest—(Isa 28:12; Mt 11:29).17. watchmen—prophets, whose duty it was to announce impending calamities, so as to leadthe people to repentance (Isa 21:11; 58:1; Eze 3:17; Hab 2:1).18. congregation—parallel to "nations"; it therefore means the gathered peoples who are invitedto be witnesses as to how great is the perversity of the Israelites (Jer 6:16, 17), and that they deservethe severe punishment about to be inflicted on them (Jer 6:19).what is among them—what deeds are committed by the Israelites (Jer 6:16, 17) [Maurer]. Or,"what punishments are about to be inflicted on them" [Calvin].19. (Isa 1:2).fruit of … thoughts—(Pr 1:31).nor to my law, but rejected it—literally, "and (as to) My law they have rejected it." The sameconstruction occurs in Ge 22:24.20. Literally, "To what purpose is this to Me, that incense cometh to Me?"incense … cane—(Isa 43:24; 60:6). No external services are accepted by God without obedienceof the heart and life (Jer 7:21; Ps 50:7-9; Isa 1:11; Mic 6:6, &c.).sweet … sweet—antithesis. Your sweet cane is not sweet to Me. The calamus.21. stumbling-blocks—instruments of the Jews' ruin (compare Mt 21:44; Isa 8:14; 1Pe 2:8).God Himself ("I") lays them before the reprobate (Ps 69:22; Ro 1:28; 11:9).fathers … sons … neighbour … friend—indiscriminate ruin.22. north … sides of the earth—The ancients were little acquainted with the north; thereforeit is called the remotest regions (as the Hebrew for "sides" ought to be translated, see on Isa 14:13)of the earth. The Chaldees are meant (Jer 1:15; 5:15). It is striking that the very same calamitieswhich the Chaldeans had inflicted on Zion are threatened as the retribution to be dealt in turn tothemselves by Jehovah (Jer 50:41-43).23. like the sea—(Isa 5:30).as men for war—not that they were like warriors, for they were warriors; but "arrayed mostperfectly as warriors" [Maurer].24. fame thereof—the report of them.25. He addresses "the daughter of Zion" (Jer 6:23); caution to the citizens of Jerusalem not toexpose themselves to the enemy by going outside of the city walls.sword of the enemy—literally, "there is a sword to the enemy"; the enemy hath a sword.26. wallow … in ashes—(Jer 25:34; Mic 1:10). As they usually in mourning only "cast asheson the head," wallowing in them means something more, namely, so entirely to cover one's selfwith ashes as to be like one who had rolled in them (Eze 27:30).as for an only son—(Am 8:10; Zec 12:10).lamentation—literally, "lamentation expressed by beating the breast."27. tower … fortress—(Jer 1:18), rather, "an assayer (and) explorer." By a metaphor frommetallurgy in Jer 6:27-30, Jehovah, in conclusion, confirms the prophet in his office, and the lattersums up the description of the reprobate people on whom he had to work. The Hebrew for "assayer"(English Version, "tower") is from a root "to try" metals. "Explorer" (English Version, "fortress")is from an Arabic root, "keen-sighted"; or a Hebrew root, "cutting," that is, separating the metalfrom the dross [Ewald]. Gesenius translates as English Version, "fortress," which does not accord withthe previous "assayer."1269JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson28. grievous revolters—literally, "contumacious of the contumacious," that is, mostcontumacious, the Hebrew mode of expressing a superlative. So "the strong among the mighty,"that is, the strongest (Eze 32:21). See Jer 5:23; Ho 4:16.walking with slanders—(Jer 9:4). "Going about for the purpose of slandering" [Maurer].brass, &c.—that is, copper. It and "iron" being the baser and harder metals express the debasedand obdurate character of the Jews (Isa 48:4; 60:17).29. bellows … burned—So intense a heat is made that the very bellows are almost set on fire.Rosenmuller translates not so well from a Hebrew root, "pant" or "snort," referring to the sound ofthe bellows blown hard.lead—employed to separate the baser metal from the silver, as quicksilver is now used. In otherwords, the utmost pains have been used to purify Israel in the furnace of affliction, but in vain (Jer5:3; 1Pe 1:7).consumed of the fire—In the Chetib, or Hebrew text, the "consumed" is supplied out of theprevious "burned." Translating as Rosenmuller, "pant," this will be inadmissible; and the Keri (HebrewMargin) division of the Hebrew words will have to be read, to get "is consumed of the fire." Thisis an argument for the translation, "are burned."founder—the refiner.wicked … not plucked away—answering to the dross which has no good metal to be separated,the mass being all dross.30. Reprobate—silver so full of alloy as to be utterly worthless (Isa 1:22). The Jews were fitonly for rejection.CHAPTER 7Jer 7:1-34. The Seventh through Ninth Chapters. Delivered in the Beginning of Jehoiakim's Reign, on the Occasionof Some Public Festival.The prophet stood at the gate of the temple in order that the multitudes from the country mighthear him. His life was threatened, it appears from Jer 26:1-9, for this prophecy, denouncing thefate of Shiloh as about to befall the temple at Jerusalem. The prophecy given in detail here issummarily referred to there. After Josiah's death the nation relapsed into idolatry through Jehoiakim'sbad influence; the worship of Jehovah was, however, combined with it (Jer 7:4, 10).2. the gate—that is, the gate of the court of Israel within that of the women. Those whomJeremiah addresses came through the gate leading into the court of the women, and the gate leadinginto the outer court, or court of the Gentiles ("these gates").3. cause you to dwell—permit you still to dwell (Jer 18:11; 26:13).4. The Jews falsely thought that because their temple had been chosen by Jehovah as His peculiardwelling, it could never be destroyed. Men think that ceremonial observances will supersede theneed of holiness (Isa 48:2; Mic 3:11). The triple repetition of "the temple of Jehovah" expressesthe intense confidence of the Jews (see Jer 22:29; Isa 6:3).these—the temple buildings which the prophet points to with his finger (Jer 7:2).5. For—"But" [Maurer].judgment—justice (Jer 22:3).6. this place—this city and land (Jer 7:7).1270JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto your hurt—so Jer 7:19; "to the confusion or their own faces" (Jer 13:10; Pr 8:36).7. The apodosis to the "if … if" (Jer 7:5, 6).to dwell—to continue to dwell.for ever and ever—joined with "to dwell," not with the words "gave to your fathers" (compareJer 3:18; De 4:40).8. that cannot profit—Maurer translates, "so that you profit nothing" (see Jer 7:4; Jer 5:31).9, 10. "Will ye steal … and then come and stand before Me?"whom ye know not—Ye have no grounds of "knowing" that they are gods; but I have manifestedMy Godhead by My law, by benefits conferred, and by miracles. This aggravates their crime [Calvin](Jud 5:8).10. And come—And yet come (Eze 23:39).We are delivered—namely, from all impending calamities. In spite of the prophet's threats,we have nothing to fear; we have offered our sacrifices, and therefore Jehovah will "deliver" do all these abominations—namely, those enumerated (Jer 7:9). These words are not to beconnected with "we are delivered," but thus: "Is it with this design that ye come and stand beforeMe in this house," in order that having offered your worthless sacrifices ye may be taken into Myfavor and so do all these abominations (Jer 7:9) with impunity? [Maurer].11. den of robbers—Do you regard My temple as being what robbers make their den, namely,an asylum wherein ye may obtain impunity for your abominations (Jer 7:10)?seen it—namely, that ye treat My house as if it were a den of thieves. Jehovah implies morethan is expressed, "I have seen and will punish it" (Isa 56:7; Mt 21:13).12. my place … in Shiloh—God caused His tabernacle to be set up in Shiloh in Joshua's days(Jos 18:1; Jud 18:31). In Eli's time God gave the ark, which had been at Shiloh, into the hands ofthe Philistines (Jer 26:6; 1Sa 4:10, 11; Ps 78:56-61). Shiloh was situated between Beth-el andShechem in the first—implying that Shiloh exceeded the Jewish temple in antiquity. But God's favor isnot tied down to localities (Ac 7:44).my people Israel—Israel was God's people, yet He spared it not when rebellious: neither willHe spare Judah, now that it rebels, though heretofore it has been His people.13. rising … early—implying unwearied earnestness in soliciting them (Jer 7:25; Jer 11:17;2Ch 36:15).14. I gave—and I therefore can revoke the gift for it is still Mine (Le 25:23), now that ye failin the only object for which it was given, the promotion of My glory.Shiloh—as I ceased to dwell there, transferring My temple to Jerusalem; so I will cease to dwellat Jerusalem.15. your brethren—children of Abraham, as much as you.whole seed of Ephraim—They were superior to you in numbers and power: they were tentribes: ye but two. "Ephraim," as the leading tribe, stands for the whole ten tribes (2Ki 17:23; Ps78:67, 68).16. When people are given up to judicial hardness of heart, intercessory prayer for them isunavailing (Jer 11:14; 14:11; 15:1; Ex 32:10; 1Jo 5:16).17. Jehovah leaves it to Jeremiah himself to decide, is there not good reason that prayers shouldnot be heard in behalf of such rebels?1271JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. children … fathers … women—Not merely isolated individuals practised idolatry; youngand old, men and women, and whole families, contributed their joint efforts to promote it. Oh, thatthere were the same zeal for the worship of God as there is for error (Jer 44:17, 19; 19:13)!cakes … queen of heaven—Cakes were made of honey, fine flour, &c., in a round flat shapeto resemble the disc of the moon, to which they were offered. Others read as Margin, "the frameof heaven," that is, the planets generally; so the Septuagint here; but elsewhere the Septuaginttranslates, "queen of heaven." The Phoenicians called the moon Ashtoreth or Astarte: the wife ofBaal or Moloch, the king of heaven. The male and female pair of deities symbolized the generativepowers of nature; hence arose the introduction of prostitution in the worship. The Babyloniansworshipped Ashtoreth as Mylitta, that is, generative. Our Monday, or Moon-day, indicates theformer prevalence of moon worship (see on Isa 65:11).that they may provoke me—implying design: in worshipping strange gods they seemed as ifpurposely to provoke Jehovah.19. Is it I that they provoke to anger? Is it not themselves? (De 32:16, 21; Job 35:6, 8; Pr 8:36).20. beast … trees … ground—Why doth God vent His fury on these? On account of man, forwhom these were created, that the sad spectacle may strike terror into him (Ro 8:20-22).21. Put … burnt offerings unto … sacrifices … eat flesh—Add the former (which the lawrequired to be wholly burnt) to the latter (which were burnt only in part), and "eat flesh" even offthe holocausts or burnt offerings. As far as I am concerned, saith Jehovah, you may do with oneand the other alike. I will have neither (Isa 1:11; Ho 8:13; Am 5:21, 22).22. Not contradicting the divine obligation of the legal sacrifices. But, "I did not requiresacrifices, unless combined with moral obedience" (Ps 50:8; 51:16, 17). The superior claim of themoral above the positive precepts of the law was marked by the ten commandments having beendelivered first, and by the two tables of stone being deposited alone in the ark (De 5:6). The negativein Hebrew often supplies the want of the comparative: not excluding the thing denied, but onlyimplying the prior claim of the thing set in opposition to it (Ho 6:6). "I will have mercy, and notsacrifice" (1Sa 15:22). Love to God is the supreme end, external observances only means towardsthat end. "The mere sacrifice was not so much what I commanded, as the sincere submission to Mywill gives to the sacrifice all its virtue" [Magee, Atonement, Note 57].23. (Ex 15:26; 19:5).24. hearkened not—They did not give even a partial hearing to Me (Ps 81:11, 12).imagination—rather, as Margin, "the stubbornness."backward, &c.—(Jer 2:27; 32:33; Ho 4:16).25. rising … early—(Jer 7:13).26. hardened … neck—(De 31:27; Isa 48:4; Ac 7:51).worse than their fathers—(Jer 16:12). In Jer 7:22 He had said, "your fathers"; here He says,"their fathers"; the change to the third person marks growing alienation from them. He no longeraddresses themselves, as it would be a waste of words in the case of such hardened rebels.27. Therefore—rather, "Though thou speak … yet they will not hearken" [Maurer], (Eze 2:7),a trial to the prophet's faith; though he knew his warnings would be unheeded, still he was to givethem in obedience to God.28. unto them—that is, in reference to them.a nation—The word usually applied to the Gentile nations is here applied to the Jews, as beingeast off and classed by God among the Gentiles.1272JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnor receiveth correction—(Jer 5:3).truth … perished—(Jer 9:3).29. Jeremiah addresses Jerusalem under the figure of a woman, who, in grief for her lost children,deprives her head of its chief ornament and goes up to the hills to weep (Jud 11:37, 38; Isa 15:2).hair—flowing locks, like those of a Nazarite.high places—The scene of her idolatries is to be the scene of her mourning (Jer 3:21).generation of his wrath—the generation with which He is wroth. So Isa 10:6; "the people ofMy wrath."30. set their abominations in the house—(Jer 32:34; 2Ki 21:4, 7; 23:4; Eze 8:5-14).31. high places of Tophet—the altars [Horsley] of Tophet; erected to Moloch, on the heightsalong the south of the valley facing Zion.burn … sons—(Ps 106:38).commanded … not—put for, "I forbade expressly" (De 17:3; 12:31). See on Jer 2:23; Isa30:33.32. valley of slaughter—so named because of the great slaughter of the Jews about to takeplace at Jerusalem: a just retribution of their sin in slaying their children to Moloch in place—no room, namely, to bury in, so many shall be those slain by the Chaldeans (Jer19:11; Eze 6:5).33. fray—scare or frighten (De 28:26). Typical of the last great battle between the Lord's hostand the apostasy (Re 19:17, 18, 21).34. Referring to the joyous songs and music with which the bride and bridegroom were escortedin the procession to the home of the latter from that of the former; a custom still prevalent in theEast (Jer 16:9; Isa 24:7, 8; Re 18:23).CHAPTER 8Jer 8:1-22. The Jew's Coming Punishment; Their Universal and Incurable Impenitence.1. The victorious Babylonians were about to violate the sanctuaries of the dead in search ofplunder; for ornaments, treasures, and insignia of royalty were usually buried with kings. Or rather,their purpose was to do the greatest dishonor to the dead (Isa 14:19).2. spread … before the sun, &c.—retribution in kind. The very objects which received theiridolatries shall unconcernedly witness their dishonor.loved … served … after … walked … sought … worshipped—Words are accumulated, asif enough could not be said fully to express the mad fervor of their idolatry to the heavenly host(2Ki 23:5).nor … buried—(Jer 22:19).dung—(Jer 9:22; Ps 83:10).3. The survivors shall be still worse off than the dead (Job 3:21, 22; Re 9:6).which remain in all the places—"in all places of them that remain, whither I … that is, in allplaces whither I have driven them that remain [Maurer].4. "Is it not a natural instinct, that if one falls, he rises again; if one turns away (that is, wandersfrom the way), he will return to the point from which he wandered? Why then does not Jerusalemdo so?" He plays on the double sense of return; literal and metaphorical (Jer 3:12; 4:1).1273JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5. slidden … backsliding—rather, as the Hebrew is the same as in Jer 8:4, to which this verserefers, "turned away with a perpetual turning away."perpetual—in contrast to the "arise" ("rise again," Jer 8:4).refuse to return—in contrast to, "shall he … not return" (Jer 8:4; Jer 5:3).6. spake not aright—that is, not so as penitently to confess that they acted wrong. Comparewhat follows.every one … his course—The Keri reads "course," but the Chetib, "courses." "They perseverein the courses whatever they have once entered on." Their wicked ways were rusheth—literally, "pours himself forth," as water that has burst its embankment. Themad rapidity of the war horse is the point of comparison (Job 39:19-25).7. The instinct of the migratory birds leads them with unfailing regularity to return every springfrom their winter abodes in summer climes (So 2:12); but God's people will not return to Him evenwhen the winter of His wrath is past, and He invites them back to the spring of His the heaven—emphatical. The birds whose very element is the air, in which they are neverat rest, yet show a steady sagacity, which God's people do not.times—namely, of migrating, and of people—This honorable title aggravates the unnatural perversity of the Jews towards theirGod.know not, &c.—(Jer 5:4, 5; Isa 1:3).8. law … with us—(Ro 2:17). Possessing the law, on which they prided themselves, the Jewsmight have become the wisest of nations; but by their neglecting its precepts, the law became given"in vain," as far as they were concerned.scribes—copyists. "In vain" copies were multiplied. Maurer translates, "The false pen of thescribes hath converted it [the law] into a lie." See Margin, which agrees with Vulgate.9. dismayed—confounded.what wisdom—literally, "the wisdom of what?" that is, "wisdom in what respect?" the Wordof the Lord being the only true source of wisdom (Ps 119:98-100; Pr 1:7; 9:10).10-12. Repeated from Jer 6:12-15. See a similar repetition, Jer 8:15; Jer 14:19.inherit—succeed to the possession of them.11. (Eze 13:10).13. surely consume—literally, "gathering I will gather," or "consuming I will consume."no grapes … nor figs—(Joe 1:7; Mt 21:19).things that I have given … shall pass away—rather, "I will appoint to them those who shalloverwhelm (pass over) them," that is, I will send the enemy upon them [Maurer]. English Versionaccords well with the context; Though their grapes and figs ripen, they shall not be allowed to enjoythem.14. assemble—for defense.let us be silent—not assault the enemy, but merely defend ourselves in quiet, until the stormblow over.put us to silence—brought us to that state that we can no longer resist the foe; implying silentdespair.water of gall—literally, "water of the poisonous plant," perhaps the poppy (Jer 9:15; 23:15).15. Repeated (Jer 14:19).We looked for—owing to the expectations held out by the false prophets.1274JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhealth—healing; that is, restoration from adversity.16. his horses—the Chaldean's.was heard—the prophetical past for the future.from Dan—bordering on Phoenicia. This was to be Nebuchadnezzar's route in invading Israel;the cavalry in advance of the infantry would scour the country.strong ones—a poetical phrase for steeds, peculiar to Jeremiah (Jer 47:3; compare Jer 4:13,29; 6:23).17. I—Jehovah.cockatrices—basilisks (Isa 11:8), that is, enemies whose destructive power no means, bypersuasion or otherwise, can counteract. Serpent-charmers in the East entice serpents by music,and by a particular pressure on the neck render them incapable of darting (Ps 58:4, 5).18. (Isa 22:4). The lamentation of the prophet for the impending calamity of his country.against sorrow—or, with respect to sorrow. Maurer translates, "Oh, my exhilaration as to sorrow!"that is, "Oh, that exhilaration ('comfort', from an Arabic root, to shine as the rising sun) would shineupon me as to my sorrow!"in me—within me.19. The prophet in vision hears the cry of the exiled Jews, wondering that God should havedelivered them up to the enemy, seeing that He is Zion's king, dwelling in her (Mic 3:11). In thelatter half of the verse God replies that their own idolatry, not want of faithfulness on His part, isthe cause.because of them that dwell in a far country—rather, "from a land of distances," that is, adistant land (Isa 39:3). English Version understands the cry to be of the Jews in their own land,because of the enemy coming from their far-off country.strange vanities—foreign gods.20. Proverbial. Meaning: One season of hope after another has passed, but the looked-fordeliverance never came, and now all hope is gone.21. black—sad in visage with grief (Joe 2:6).22. balm—balsam; to be applied to the wounds of my people. Brought into Judea first fromArabia Felix, by the queen of Sheba, in Solomon's time [Josephus, Antiquities, 8.2]. The opobalsamumof Pliny; or else [Bochart] the resin drawn from the terebinth. It abounded in Gilead, east of Jordan,where, in consequence, many "physicians" established themselves (Jer 46:11; 51:8; Ge 37:25;43:11).health … recovered—The Hebrew is literally, "lengthening out … gone up"; hence, the longbandage applied to bind up a wound. So the Arabic also [Gesenius].CHAPTER 9Jer 9:1-26. Jeremiah's Lamentation for the Jews' Sins and Consequent Punishment.1. This verse is more fitly joined to the last chapter, as verse 23 in the Hebrew (compare Isa22:4; La 2:11; 3:48).2. lodging-place—a caravanseral for caravans, or companies travelling in the desert, remotefrom towns. It was a square building enclosing an open court. Though a lonely and often filthy1275JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondwelling, Jeremiah would prefer even it to the comforts of Jerusalem, so as to be removed fromthe pollutions of the capital (Ps 55:7, 8).3. bend … tongues … for lies—that is, with lies as their arrows; they direct lies on their tongueas their bow (Ps 64:3, 4).not valiant for … truth—(Jer 7:28). Maurer translates, "They do not prevail by truth" or faith(Ps 12:4). Their tongue, not faith, is their weapon.upon … earth—rather, "in the land."know not me—(Ho 4:1).4. supplant—literally, "trip up by the heel" (Ho 12:3).walk with slanders—(Jer 6:28).5. weary themselves—are at laborious pains to act perversely [Maurer]. Sin is a hard bondage(Hab 2:13).6. Thine—God addresses Jeremiah, who dwelt in the midst of deceitful men.refuse to know me—Their ignorance of God is wilful (Jer 9:3; 5:4, 5).7. melt … try them—by sending calamities on them.for how shall I do—"What else can I do for the sake of the daughter of My people?" [Maurer],(Isa 1:25; Mal 3:3).8. tongue … arrow shot out—rather, "a murdering arrow" [Maurer] (Jer 9:3).speaketh peaceably … in heart … layeth … wait—layeth his ambush [Henderson], (Ps 55:21).9. (Jer 5:9, 29).10. Jeremiah breaks in upon Jehovah's threats of wrath with lamentation for his desolatedcountry.mountains—once cultivated and fruitful: the hillsides were cultivated in terraces between therocks.habitations of … wilderness—rather, "the pleasant herbage (literally, 'the choice parts' of anything) of the pasture plain." The Hebrew for "wilderness" expresses not a barren desert, but anuntilled plain, fit for pasture.burned up—because no one waters them, the inhabitants being all gone.none can pass through them—much less inhabit them.fowl—(Jer 4:25).11. And—omit "And." Jehovah here resumes His speech from Jer 9:9.heaps—(see on Isa 25:2).dragons—jackals.12. Rather, "Who is a wise man? (that is, Whosoever has inspired wisdom, 2Pe 3:15); let himunderstand this (weigh well the evils impending, and the causes of their being sent); and he towhom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken (that is, whosoever is prophetically inspired), let himdeclare it to his fellow countrymen," if haply they may be roused to repentance, the only hope ofsafety.13. Answer to the "for what the land perisheth" (Jer 9:12).14. (Jer 7:24).Baalim—plural of Baal, to express his supposed manifold powers.fathers taught them—(Ga 1:14; 1Pe 1:18). We are not to follow the errors of the fathers, butthe authority of Scripture and of God [Jerome].15. feed—(Jer 8:14; 23:15; Ps 80:5).1276JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson16. nor their fathers have known—alluding to Jer 9:14, "Their fathers taught them" idolatry;therefore the children shall be scattered to a land which neither their fathers nor they have known.send a sword after them—Not even in flight shall they be safe.17. mourning women—hired to heighten lamentation by plaintive cries baring the breast,beating the arms, and suffering the hair to flow dishevelled (2Ch 35:25; Ec 12:5; Mt 9:23).cunning—skilled in wailing.18. (Jer 14:17).19. The cry of "the mourning women."spoiled—laid waste.dwellings cast us out—fulfilling Le 18:28; 20:22. Calvin translates, "The enemy have cast downour habitations."20. Yet—rather, "Only" [Henderson]. This particle calls attention to what follows.teach … daughters wailing—The deaths will be so many that there will be a lack of mourningwomen to bewail them. The mothers, therefore, must teach their daughters the science to supplythe want.21. death … windows—The death-inflicting soldiery, finding the doors closed, burst in by cut off … children from … streets—Death cannot be said to enter the windows to cut offthe children in the streets, but to cut them off, so as no more to play in the streets without (Zec 8:5).22. saith the Lord—continuing the thread of discourse from Jer 9:20.dung—(Jer 8:2).handful … none … gather them—implying that the handful has been so trodden as to be notworth even the poor gleaner's effort to gather it. Or the Eastern custom may be referred to: thereaper cuts the grain and is followed by another who gathers it. This grain shall not be worthgathering. How galling to the pride of the Jews to hear that so shall their carcasses be troddencontemptuously under foot!23. wisdom—political sagacity; as if it could rescue from the impending calamities.might—military prowess.24. Nothing but an experimental knowledge of God will save the nation.understandeth—theoretically; in the intellect.knoweth—practically: so as to walk in My ways (Jer 22:16; Job 22:21; 1Co 1:31).loving kindness—God's mercy is put in the first and highest place, because without it we shouldflee from God in fear and despair.judgment … righteousness—loving-kindness towards the godly; judgment towards the ungodly;righteousness the most perfect fairness in all cases [Grotius]. Faithfulness to His promises to preservethe godly, as well as stern execution of judgment on the ungodly, is included in "righteousness."in the earth—contrary to the dogma of some philosophers, that God does not interfere interrestrial concerns (Ps 58:11).in these … I delight—as well in doing them as in seeing them done by others (Mic 6:8; 7:18).25. with the uncircumcised—rather, "all that are circumcised in uncircumcision" [Henderson].The Hebrew is an abstract term, not a concrete, as English Version translates, and as the pious"circumcised" is. The nations specified, Egypt, Judah, &c., were outwardly "circumcised," but inheart were "uncircumcised." The heathen nations were defiled, in spite of their literal circumcision,by idolatry. The Jews, with all their glorying in their spiritual privileges, were no better (Jer 4:4;1277JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonDe 10:16; 30:6; Ro 2:28, 29; Col 2:11). However, Eze 31:18; 32:19, may imply that the Egyptianswere uncircumcised; and it is uncertain as to the other nations specified whether they were at thatearly time circumcised. Herodotus says the Egyptians were so; but others think this applies only tothe priests and others having a sacred character, not to the mass of the nation; so English Versionmay be right (Ro 2:28, 29).26. Egypt—put first to degrade Judah, who, though in privileges above the Gentiles, byunfaithfulness sank below them. Egypt, too, was the power in which the Jews were so prone totrust, and by whose instigation they, as well as the other peoples specified, revolted from the utmost corners—rather, "having the hair shaven (or clipped) in angles," that is, havingthe beard on the cheek narrowed or cut: a Canaanitish custom, forbidden to the Israelites (Le 19:27;21:5). The Arabs are hereby referred to (compare Jer 25:23; 49:32), as the words in appositionshow, "that dwell in the wilderness."uncircumcised … uncircumcised in the heart—The addition of "in the heart" in Israel's casemarks its greater guilt in proportion to its greater privileges, as compared with the rest.CHAPTER 10Jer 10:1-25. Contrast between the Idols and Jehovah. The Prophet's Lamentation and Prayer.1. Israel—the Jews, the surviving representatives of the nation.2. Eichorn thinks the reference here to be to some celestial portent which had appeared at thattime, causing the Jews' dismay. Probably the reference is general, namely, to the Chaldeans, famedas astrologers, through contact with whom the Jews were likely to fall into the same superstition.way—the precepts or ordinances (Le 18:3; Ac 9:2).signs of heaven—The Gentiles did not acknowledge a Great First Cause: many thought eventsdepended on the power of the stars, which some, as Plato, thought to be endued with spirit andreason. All heavenly phenomena, eclipses, comets, &c., are cutteth a tree, &c.—rather, "It (that which they busy themselves about: a sample of their'customs') is a tree cut out of the forest" [Maurer].4. fasten … move not—that is, that it may stand upright without risk of falling, which the god(!) would do, if left to itself (Isa 41:7).5. upright—or, "They are of turned work, resembling a palm tree" [Maurer]. The point ofcomparison between the idol and the palm is in the pillar-like uprightness of the latter, it havingno branches except at the top.speak not—(Ps 115:5).cannot go—that is, walk (Ps 115:7; Isa 46:1, 7).neither … do good—(Isa 41:23).6. none—literally, "no particle of nothing": nothing whatever; the strongest possible denial (Ex15:11; Ps 86:8, 10).7. (Re 15:4).to thee doth it appertain—to Thee it properly belongs, namely, that Thou shouldest be "feared"(taken out of the previous "fear Thee") (compare Eze 21:27). He alone is the becoming object ofworship. To worship any other is unseemly and an infringement of His inalienable prerogative.none—nothing whatever (see on Jer 10:6; Ps 89:6).1278JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. altogether—rather, "all alike" [Maurer]. Even the so-called "wise" men (Jer 10:7) of theGentiles are on a level with the brutes and "foolish," namely, because they connive at the popularidolatry (compare Ro 1:21-28). Therefore, in Daniel and Revelation, the world power is representedunder a bestial form. Man divests himself of his true humanity, and sinks to the level of the brute,when he severs his connection with God (Ps 115:8; Jon 2:8).stock is a doctrine of vanities—The stock (put for the worship of all idols whatever, made outof a stock) speaks for itself that the whole theory of idolatry is vanity (Isa 44:9-11). Castalio translates,"the very wood itself confuting the vanity" (of the idol).9. Everything connected with idols is the result of human effort.Silver spread—(See on Isa 30:22; Isa 40:19).Tarshish—Tartessus, in Spain, famed for precious metals.Uphaz—(Da 10:5). As the Septuagint in the Syrian Hexapla in the Margin, Theodotus, the Syrianand Chaldee versions have "Ophir," Gesenius thinks "Uphaz" a colloquial corruption (one letter onlybeing changed) for "Ophir." Ophir, in Ge 10:29, is mentioned among Arabian countries. PerhapsMalacca is the country meant, the natives of which still call their gold mines Ophirs. Heeren thinksOphir the general name for the rich countries of the south, on the Arabian, African, and Indiancoasts; just as our term, East Indies.cunning—skilful.10. true God—literally, "God Jehovah is truth"; not merely true, that is, veracious, but truthin the reality of His essence, as opposed to the "vanity" or emptiness which all idols are (Jer 10:3,8, 15; 2Ch 15:3; Ps 31:5; 1Jo 5:20).living God—(Joh 5:26; 1Ti 6:17). He hath life in Himself which no creature has. All else "livein Him" (Ac 17:28). In contrast to dead idols.everlasting—(Ps 10:16). In contrast to the temporary existence of all other objects of worship.11. This verse is in Chaldee, Jeremiah supplying his countrymen with a formula of reply toChaldee idolaters in the tongue most intelligible to the latter. There may be also derision intendedin imitating their barbarous dialect. Rosenmuller objects to this view, that not merely the words putin the mouths of the Israelites, but Jeremiah's own introductory words, "Thus shall ye say to them,"are in Chaldee, and thinks it to be a marginal gloss. But it is found in all the oldest versions. It wasan old Greek saying: "Whoever thinks himself a god besides the one God, let him make anotherworld" (Ps 96:5).shall perish—(Isa 2:18; Zec 13:2).these heavens—the speaker pointing to them with his fingers.12. Continuation of Jer 10:10, after the interruption of the thread of the discourse in Jer 10:11(Ps 136:5, 6).13. Literally, "At the voice of His giving forth," that is, when He thunders. (Job 38:34; Ps29:3-5).waters—(Ge 1:7)—above the firmament; heavy rains accompany thunder.vapours … ascend—(Ps 135:7).treasures—His stores.14. in his knowledge—"is rendered brutish by his skill," namely, in idol-making (Jer 10:8, 9).Thus the parallel, "confounded by the graven image," corresponds (so Jer 51:17). Others not sowell translate, "without knowledge," namely, of God (see Isa 42:17; 45:16; Ho 4:6).15. errors—deceptions; from a Hebrew root, "to stutter"; then meaning "to mock."1279JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontheir visitation they—When God shall punish the idol-worshippers (namely, by Cyrus), theidols themselves shall be destroyed [Rosenmuller] (Jer 10:11).16. portion—from a Hebrew root, "to divide." God is the all-sufficient Good of His people (Nu18:20; Ps 16:5; 73:26; La 3:24).not like them—not like the idols, a vain object of trust (De 32:31).former of all things—the Fashioner (as a potter, Isa 64:8) of the universe.rod of his inheritance—The portion marked off as His inheritance by the measuring rod (Eze48:21). As He is their portion, so are they His portion (De 32:9). A reciprocal tie (compare Jer51:19; Ps 74:2, Margin). Others make "rod" refer to the tribal rod or scepter.17. wares—thine effects or movable goods (Eze 12:3). Prepare for migrating as captives toBabylon. The address is to Jerusalem, as representative of the whole people.inhabitant of the fortress—rather, "inhabitress of the fortress." Though thou now seemest toinhabit an impregnable fortress, thou shalt have to remove. "The land" is the champaign regionopposed to the "fortified" cities. The "fortress" being taken, the whole "land" will share the disaster.Henderson translates, "Gather up thy packages from the ground." Rosenmuller, for "fortress," translates,"siege," that is, the besieged city. The various articles, in this view, are supposed to be lying aboutin confusion on the ground during the siege.18. sling out—expressing the violence and suddenness of the removal to Babylon. A similarimage occurs in Jer 16:13; 1Sa 25:29; Isa 22:17, this once—at this time, now.find it so—find it by experience, that is, feel it (Eze 6:10). Michaelis translates, "I will bind themtogether (as in a sling) that they may reach the goal" (Babylon). English Version is best: "that theymay find it so as I have said" (Nu 23:19; Eze 6:10).19. Judea bewails its calamity.wound—the stroke I suffer under.I must bear—not humble submission to God's will (Mic 7:9), but sullen impenitence. Or,rather, it is prophetical of their ultimate acknowledgment of their guilt as the cause of their calamity(La 3:39).20. tabernacle is spoiled—metaphor from the tents of nomadic life; as these are taken downin a few moments, so as not to leave a vestige of them, so Judea (Jer 4:20).cords—with which the coverings of the tent are extended.curtains—tent-curtains.21. pastors—the rulers, civil and religious. This verse gives the cause of the impending calamity.22. bruit—rumor of invasion. The antithesis is between the voice of God in His prophets towhom they turned a deaf ear, and the cry of the enemy, a new teacher, whom they must hear [Calvin].north country—Babylon (Jer 1:15).23. Despairing of influencing the people, he turns to God.way of man not in himself—(Pr 16:1; 20:24; Jas 4:13, 14). I know, O Jehovah, that the marchof the Babylonian conqueror against me (Jeremiah identifying himself with his people) is not athis own discretion, but is overruled by Thee (Isa 10:5-7; compare Jer 10:19).that walketh—when he walketh, that is, sets out in any … steps—to give a prosperous issue to (Ps 73:23).24, 25. Since I (my nation) must be corrected (justice requiring it because of the deep guilt ofthe nation), I do not deprecate all chastisement, but pray only for moderation in it (Jer 30:11; Ps1280JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6:1; 38:1); and that the full tide of Thy fury may be poured out on the heathen invaders for theircruelty towards Thy people. Ps 79:6, 7, a psalm to be referred to the time of the captivity, itscomposer probably repeated this from Jeremiah. The imperative, "Pour out," is used instead of thefuture, expressing vividly the certainty of the prediction, and that the word of God itself effects itsown declarations. Accordingly, the Jews were restored after correction; the Babylonians wereutterly extinguished.know thee … call … on thy name—Knowledge of God is the beginning of piety; calling onHim the fruit.heathen … Jacob—He reminds God of the distinction He has made between His people whomJacob represents, and the heathen aliens. Correct us as Thy adopted sons, the seed of Jacob; destroythem as outcasts (Zec 1:14, 15, 21).CHAPTER 11Jer 11:1-23. Epitome of the Covenant Found in the Temple in Josiah's Reign. Judah's Revolt from It, and God'sConsequent Wrath.2. this covenant—alluding to the book of the law (De 31:26) found in the temple by Hilkiahthe high priest, five years after Jeremiah's call to the prophetic office (2Ki 22:8-23:25).Hear ye—Others besides Jeremiah were to promulgate God's will to the people; it was the dutyof the priests to read the law to them (Mal 2:7).3. (De 27:26; Ga 3:10).4. in the day—that is, when. The Sinaitic covenant was made some time after the exodus, butthe two events are so connected as to be viewed as one.iron furnace—(De 4:20; 1Ki 8:51). "Furnace" expresses the searching ordeal; "iron," the longduration of it. The furnace was of earth, not of iron (Ps 12:6); a furnace, in heat and duration enoughto melt even iron. God's deliverance of them from such an ordeal aggravates their present them—namely, the words of the covenant (Jer 11:3).so, &c.—(Le 26:3, 12).5. oath—(Ps 105:9, 10).a land flowing with milk and honey—(See on Nu 14:8).as it is this day—These are the concluding words of God to the Israelites when formerly broughtout of Egypt, "Obey … that I may at this time make good the promise I made to your fathers, togive," &c. [Maurer]. English Version makes the words apply to Jeremiah's time, "As ye know at thistime, that God's promise has been fulfilled," namely, in Israel's acquisition of Canaan.So be it—Hebrew, Amen. Taken from De 27:15-26. Jeremiah hereby solemnly concurs in thejustice of the curses pronounced there (see Jer 11:3).6. Jeremiah was to take a prophetic tour throughout Judah, to proclaim everywhere thedenunciations in the book of the law found in the temple.Hear … do—(Ro 2:13; Jas 1:22).7. rising early—(Jer 7:13).8. imagination—rather, "stubbornness."will bring—The words, "even unto this day" (Jer 11:7), confirm English Version rather thanthe rendering of Rosenmuller: "I brought upon them."1281JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwords—threats (Jer 11:3; De 27:15-26).9. conspiracy—a deliberate combination against God and against Josiah's reformation. Theiridolatry is not the result of a hasty impulse (Ps 83:5; Eze 22:25).11. cry unto me—contrasted with "cry unto the gods," (Jer 11:12).not hearken—(Ps 18:41; Pr 1:28; Isa 1:15; Mic 3:4).12. cry unto the gods … not save—(De 32:37, 38). Compare this verse and beginning of Jer11:13; Jer the time of their trouble—that is, calamity (Jer 2:27).13. shameful thing—Hebrew, "shame," namely, the idol, not merely shameful, but the essenceof all that is shameful (Jer 3:24; Ho 9:10), which will bring shame and confusion on yourselves[Calvin].14. There is a climax of guilt which admits of no further intercessory prayer (Ex 32:10, in theChaldee version, "leave off praying"; Jer 7:16; 1Sa 16:1; 15:35; 1Jo 5:16). Our mind should be atone with God in all that He is doing, even in the rejection of the reprobate.for their trouble—on account of their trouble. Other manuscripts read, "in the time of theirtrouble;" a gloss from Jer 11:12.15. my beloved—My elect people, Judea; this aggravates their ingratitude (Jer 12:7).lewdness with many—(Eze 16:25). Rather, "that great (or, manifold) enormity"; literally, "theenormity, the manifold"; namely, their idolatry, which made their worship of God in the temple amockery (compare Jer 7:10; Eze 23:39) [Henderson].holy flesh—(Hag 2:12-14; Tit 1:15), namely, the sacrifices, which, through the guilt of theJews, were no longer holy, that is, acceptable to God. The sacrifices on which they relied will,therefore, no longer protect them. Judah is represented as a priest's wife, who, by adultery, hasforfeited her share in the flesh of the sacrifices, and yet boasts of her prerogative at the very sametime [Horsley].when thou doest evil—literally, "when thy evil" (is at hand). Piscator translates, "When thycalamity is at hand (according to God's threats), thou gloriest" (against God, instead of humblingthyself). English Version is best (compare Pr 2:14).16. called thy name—made thee.olive—(Ps 52:8; Ro 11:17). The "olive" is chosen to represent the adoption of Judah by thefree grace of God, as its oil is the image of richness (compare Ps 23:5; 104:15).with … noise of … tumult—or, "at the noise," &c., namely, at the tumult of the invading army(Isa 13:4) [Maurer]. Or, rather, "with the sound of a mighty voice," namely, that of God, that is, thethunder; thus there is no confusion of metaphors. The tree stricken with lightning has "fire kindledupon it, and the branches are broken," at one and the same time [Houbigant].17. that planted thee—(Jer 2:21; Isa 5:2).against themselves—The sinner's sin is to his own hurt (see on Jer 7:19).18, 19. Jeremiah here digresses to notice the attempt on his life plotted by his townsmen ofAnathoth. He had no suspicion of it, until Jehovah revealed it to him (Jer 12:6).the Lord … thou—The change of person from the third to the second accords with the excitedfeelings of the prophet.then—when I was in peril of my life.their doings—those of the men of Anathoth. His thus alluding to them, before he has mentionedtheir name, is due to his excitement.1282JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson19. lamb—literally, a "pet lamb," such as the Jews often had in their houses, for their childrento play with; and the Arabs still have (2Sa 12:3). His own familiar friends had plotted against theprophet. The language is exactly the same as that applied to Messiah (Isa 53:7). Each prophet andpatriarch exemplified in his own person some one feature or more in the manifold attributes andsufferings of the Messiah to come; just as the saints have done since His coming (Ga 2:20; Php3:10; Col 1:24). This adapted both the more experimentally to testify of Christ.devices—(Jer 18:18).tree with … fruit—literally, "in its fruit" or "food," that is, when it is in fruit. Proverbial, toexpress the destruction of cause and effect together. The man is the tree; his teaching, the fruit. Letus destroy the prophet and his prophecies; namely, those threatening destruction to the nation,which offended them. Compare Mt 7:17, which also refers to prophets and their doctrines.20. triest … heart—(Re 2:23).revealed—committed my cause. Jeremiah's wish for vengeance was not personal but ministerial,and accorded with God's purpose revealed to him against the enemies alike of God and of Hisservant (Ps 37:34; 54:7; 112:8; 118:7).21. Prophesy not—(Isa 30:10; Am 2:12; Mic 2:6). If Jeremiah had not uttered his denunciatorypredictions, they would not have plotted against him. None were more bitter than his own fellowtownsmen. Compare the conduct of the Nazarites towards Jesus of Nazareth (Lu 4:24-29).22. The retribution of their intended murder shall be in kind; just as in Messiah's case (Ps69:8-28).23. (Jer 23:12).the year of … visitation—The Septuagint translates, "in the year of their," &c., that is, at thetime when I shall visit them in wrath. Jerome supports English Version. "Year" often means adetermined time.CHAPTER 12Jer 12:1-17. Continuation of the Subject at the Close of the Eleventh Chapter.He ventures to expostulate with Jehovah as to the prosperity of the wicked, who had plottedagainst his life (Jer 12:1-4); in reply he is told that he will have worse to endure, and that from hisown relatives (Jer 12:5, 6). The heaviest judgments, however, would be inflicted on the faithlesspeople (Jer 12:7-13); and then on the nations co-operating with the Chaldeans against Judah, with,however, a promise of mercy on repentance (Jer 12:14-17).1. (Ps 51:4).let me talk, &c.—only let me reason the case with Thee: inquire of Thee the causes why suchwicked men as these plotters against my life prosper (compare Job 12:6; 21:7; Ps 37:1, 35; 73:3;Mal 3:15). It is right, when hard thoughts of God's providence suggest themselves, to fortify ourminds by justifying God beforehand (as did Jeremiah), even before we hear the reasons of Hisdealings.2. grow—literally, "go on," "progress." Thou givest them sure dwellings and increasingprosperity.near in … mouth … far from … reins—(Isa 29:13; Mt 15:8). Hypocrites.3. knowest me—(Ps 139:1).1283JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontried … heart—(Jer 11:20).toward thee—rather, "with Thee," that is, entirely devoted to Thee; contrasted with thehypocrites (Jer 12:2), "near in … mouth, and far from … reins." This being so, how is it that I fareso ill, they so well?pull … out—containing the metaphor, from a "rooted tree" (Jer 12:2).prepare—literally, "separate," or "set apart as devoted."day of slaughter—(Jas 5:5).4. land mourn—personification (Jer 14:2; 23:10).for the wickedness—(Ps 107:34).beasts—(Ho 4:3).He shall not see our last end—Jehovah knows not what is about to happen to us (Jer 5:12)[Rosenmuller]. So the Septuagint. (Ps 10:11; Eze 8:12; 9:9). Rather, "The prophet (Jeremiah, to whomthe whole context refers) shall not see our last end." We need not trouble ourselves about his bodingpredictions. We shall not be destroyed as he says (Jer 5:12, 13).5. Jehovah's reply to Jeremiah's complaint.horses—that is, horsemen: the argument a fortiori. A proverbial phrase. The injuries done theeby the men of Anathoth ("the footmen") are small compared with those which the men of Jerusalem("the horsemen") are about to inflict on thee. If the former weary thee out, how wilt thou contendwith the king, the court, and the priests at Jerusalem?wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee—English Version thus fills up the sentence withthe italicized words, to answer to the parallel clause in the first sentence of the verse. The parallelismis, however, sufficiently retained with a less ellipsis: "If (it is only) in a land of peace thou artconfident" [Maurer].swelling of Jordan—In harvest-time and earlier (April and May) it overflows its banks (Jos3:15), and fills the valley called the Ghor. Or, "the pride of Jordan," namely, its wooded banksabounding in lions and other wild beasts (Jer 49:19; 50:44; Zec 11:3; compare 2Ki 6:2). Maundrellsays that between the Sea of Tiberias and Lake Merom the banks are so wooded that the travellercannot see the river at all without first passing through the woods. If in the champaign country(alone) thou art secure, how wilt thou do when thou fallest into the wooded haunts of wild beasts?6. even thy brethren—as in Christ's case (Ps 69:8; Joh 1:11; 7:5; compare Jer 9:4; 11:19, 21;Mt 10:36). Godly faithfulness is sure to provoke the ungodly, even of one's own family.called a multitude after thee—(Isa 31:4). Jerome translates, "cry after thee with a loud (literally,'full') voice."believe … not … though … speak fair—(Pr 26:25).7. I have forsaken—Jehovah will forsake His temple and the people peculiarly His. The mentionof God's close tie to them, as heretofore His, aggravates their ingratitude, and shows that their pastspiritual privileges will not prevent God from punishing them.beloved of my soul—image from a wife (Jer 11:15; Isa 54:5).8. is unto me—is become unto Me: behaves towards Me as a lion which roars against a man,so that he withdraws from the place where he hears it: so I withdrew from My people, once beloved,but now an object of abhorrence because of their rebellious cries against Me.9. speckled bird—Many translate, "a ravenous beast, the hyena"; the corresponding Arabicword means hyena; so the Septuagint. But the Hebrew always elsewhere means "a bird of prey."The Hebrew for "speckled" is from a root "to color"; answering to the Jewish blending together1284JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwith paganism the altogether diverse Mosaic ritual. The neighboring nations, birds of prey likeherself (for she had sinfully assimilated herself to them), were ready to pounce upon her.assemble … beasts of … field—The Chaldeans are told to gather the surrounding heathenpeoples as allies against Judah (Isa 56:9; Eze 34:5).10. pastors—the Babylonian leaders (compare Jer 12:12; Jer 6:3).my vineyard—(Isa 5:1, 5).trodden my portion—(Isa 63:18).11. mourneth unto me—that is, before Me. Eichorn translates, "by reason of Me," because Ihave given it to desolation (Jer 12:7).because no man layeth it to heart—because none by repentance and prayer seek to deprecateGod's wrath. Or, "yet none lays it to heart"; as in Jer 5:3 [Calvin].12. high places—Before, He had threatened the plains; now, the hills.wilderness—not an uninhabited desert, but high lands of pasturage, lying between Judea andChaldea (Jer 4:11).13. Description in detail of the devastation of the land (Mic 6:15).they shall be ashamed of your—The change of persons, in passing from indirect to directaddress, is frequent in the prophets. Equivalent to, "Ye shall be put to the shame of disappointmentat the smallness of your produce."14-17. Prophecy as to the surrounding nations, the Syrians, Ammonites, &c., who helped forwardJudah's calamity: they shall share her fall; and, on their conversion, they shall share with her in thefuture restoration. This is a brief anticipation of the predictions in the forty-seventh, forty-eighth,and forty-ninth chapters.touch—(Zec 2:8).pluck them out … pluck out … Judah—(Compare end of Jer 12:16). During the thirteenyears that the Babylonians besieged Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar, after subduing Coelo-Syria, broughtAmmon, Moab, &c., and finally Egypt, into subjection [Josephus, Antiquities, 10:9.7]. On therestoration of these nations, they were to exchange places with the Jews. The latter were now inthe midst of them, but on their restoration they were to be "in the midst of the Jews," that is, asproselytes to the true God (compare Mic 5:7; Zec 14:16). "Pluck them," namely, the Gentile nations:in a bad sense. "Pluck Judah": in a good sense; used to express the force which was needed to snatchJudah from the tyranny of those nations by whom they had been made captives, or to whom theyhad fled; otherwise they never would have let Judah go. Previously he had been forbidden to prayfor the mass of the Jewish people. But here he speaks consolation to the elect remnant among them.Whatever the Jews might be, God keeps His covenant.15. A promise, applying to Judah, as well as to the nations specified (Am 9:14). As to Moab,compare Jer 48:47; as to Ammon, Jer 49:6.16. swear by my name—(Jer 4:2; Isa 19:18; 65:16); that is, confess solemnly the true God.built—be made spiritually and temporally prosperous: fixed in sure habitations (compare Jer24:6; 42:10; 45:4; Ps 87:4, 5; Eph 2:20, 21; 1Pe 2:5).17. (Isa 60:12).CHAPTER 131285JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonJer 13:1-27. Symbolical Prophecy (Jer 13:1-7).Many of these figurative acts being either not possible, or not probable, or decorous, seem tohave existed only in the mind of the prophet as part of his inward vision. [So Calvin]. The world hemoved in was not the sensible, but the spiritual, world. Inward acts were, however, when it waspossible and proper, materialized by outward performance, but not always, and necessarily so. Theinternal act made a naked statement more impressive and presented the subject when extendingover long portions of space and time more concentrated. The interruption of Jeremiah's officialduty by a journey of more than two hundred miles twice is not likely to have literally taken place.1. put it upon thy loins, &c.—expressing the close intimacy wherewith Jehovah had joinedIsrael and Judah to Him (Jer 13:11).linen—implying it was the inner garment next the skin, not the outer one.put it not in water—signifying the moral filth of His people, like the literal filth of a garmentworn constantly next the skin, without being washed (Jer 13:10). Grotius understands a garment notbleached, but left in its native roughness, just as Judah had no beauty, but was adopted by the solegrace of God (Eze 16:4-6). "Neither wast thou washed in water," &c.4. Euphrates—In order to support the view that Jeremiah's act was outward, Henderson considersthat the Hebrew Phrath here is Ephratha, the original name of Beth-lehem, six miles south ofJerusalem, a journey easy to be made by Jeremiah. The non-addition of the word "river," whichusually precedes Phrath, when meaning Euphrates, favors this view. But I prefer English Version.The Euphrates is specified as being near Babylon, the Jews future place of exile.hole—typical of the prisons in which the Jews were to be confined.the rock—some well-known rock. A sterile region, such as was that to which the Jews wereled away (compare Isa 7:19) [Grotius].6. after many days—Time enough was given for the girdle to become unfit for use. So, incourse of time, the Jews became corrupted by the heathen idolatries around, so as to cease to bewitnesses of Jehovah; they must, therefore, be cast away as a "marred" or spoiled girdle.9. (Le 26:19).10. imagination—rather, "obstinacy."11. (Jer 33:9; Ex 19:5).glory—an ornament to glory in.12. A new image.Do we not … know … wine—The "bottles" are those used in the East, made of skins; our word"hogshead," originally "oxhide," alludes to the same custom. As they were used to hold water, milk,and other liquids, what the prophet said (namely, that they should be all filled with wine) was not,as the Jews' taunting reply implied, a truism even literally. The figurative sense which is whatJeremiah chiefly meant, they affected not to understand. As wine intoxicates, so God's wrath andjudgments shall reduce them to that state of helpless distraction that they shall rush on to their ownruin (Jer 25:15; 49:12; Isa 51:17, 21, 22; 63:6).13. upon David's throne—literally, who sit for David on his throne; implying the successionof the Davidic family (Jer 22:4).all—indiscriminately of every rank.14. dash—(Ps 2:9). As a potter's vessel (Re 2:27).15. be not proud—Pride was the cause of their contumacy, as humility is the first step toobedience (Jer 13:17; Ps 10:4).1286JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson16. Give glory, &c.—Show by repentance and obedience to God, that you revere His majesty.So Joshua exhorted Achan to "give glory to God" by confessing his crime, thereby showing herevered the All-knowing God.stumble—image from travellers stumbling into a fatal abyss when overtaken by nightfall (Isa5:30; 59:9, 10; Am 8:9).dark mountains—literally, "mountains of twilight" or "gloom," which cast such a gloomyshadow that the traveller stumbles against an opposing rock before he sees it (Joh 11:10; 12:35).shadow of death—the densest gloom; death shade (Ps 44:19). Light and darkness are imagesof prosperity and adversity.17. hear it—my secret—as one mourning and humbling himself for their sin, not self-righteously condemningthem (Php 3:18).pride—(see on Jer 13:15; Job 33:17).flock—(Jer 13:20), just as kings and leaders are called pastors.18. king—Jehoiachin or Jeconiah.queen—the queen mother who, as the king was not more than eighteen years old, held the chiefpower. Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan, carried away captive with Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar(2Ki 24:8-15).Humble yourselves—that is, Ye shall be humbled, or brought low (Jer 22:26; 28:2).your principalities—rather, "your head ornament."19. cities of the south—namely, south of Judea; farthest off from the enemy, who advancedfrom the north.shut up—that is, deserted (Isa 24:10); so that none shall be left to open the gates to travellersand merchants again [Henderson]. Rather, shut up so closely by Nebuchadnezzar's forces, sent onbefore (2Ki 24:10, 11), that none shall be allowed by the enemy to get out (compare Jer 13:20).wholly—literally, "fully"; completely.20. from … north—Nebuchadnezzar and his hostile army (Jer 1:14; 6:22).flock … given thee—Jeremiah, amazed at the depopulation caused by Nebuchadnezzar's forces,addresses Jerusalem (a noun of multitude, which accounts for the blending of plural and singular,Your eyes … thee … thy flock), and asks where is the population (Jer 13:17, "flock") which Godhad given her?21. captains, and as chief—literally, "princes as to headship"; or "over thy head," namely, theChaldeans. Rather, translate, "What wilt thou say when God will set them (the enemies, Jer 13:20)above thee, seeing that thou thyself hast accustomed them (to be) with thee as (thy) lovers in thehighest place (literally, 'at thy head')? Thou canst not say God does thee wrong, seeing it was thouthat gave occasion to His dealing so with thee, by so eagerly courting their intimacy." Compare Jer2:18, 36; 2Ki 23:29, as to the league of Judah with Babylon, which led Josiah to march againstPharaoh-necho, when the latter was about to attack Babylon [Maurer].sorrows—pains, throes.22. if thou say—connecting this verse with "What wilt thou say" (Jer 13:21)?skirts discovered—that is, are thrown up so as to expose the person (Jer 13:26; Isa 3:17; Na3:5).1287JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonheels made bare—The sandal was fastened by a thong above the heel to the instep. The Hebrew,is, "are violently handled," or "torn off"; that is, thou art exposed to ignominy. Image from anadulteress.23. Ethiopian—the Cushite of Abyssinia. Habit is second nature; as therefore it is morallyimpossible that the Jews can alter their inveterate habits of sin, nothing remains but the inflictionof the extremest punishment, their expatriation (Jer 13:24).24. (Ps 1:4).by the wind—before the wind.of the wilderness—where the wind has full sweep, not being broken by any obstacle.25. portion of thy measures—the portion which I have measured out to thee (Job 20:29; Ps11:6).falsehood—(Jer 13:27), false gods and alliances with foreign idolaters.26. discover … upon thy face—rather, "throw up thy skirts over thy face," or head; done byway of ignominy to captive women and to prostitutes (Na 3:5). The Jews' punishment should answerto their crime. As their sin had been perpetrated in the most public places, so God would exposethem to the contempt of other nations most openly (La 1:8).27. neighings—(Jer 5:8), image from the lust of horses; the lust after idols degrades to the levelof the brute.hills—where, as being nearer heaven, sacrifices were thought most acceptable to the gods.wilt thou not … ? when—literally, "thou wilt not be made clean after how long a time yet."(So Jer 13:23). Jeremiah denies the moral possibility of one so long hardened in sin becoming sooncleansed. But see Jer 32:17; Lu 18:27.CHAPTER 14Jer 14:1-22. Prophecies on the Occasion of a Drought Sent in Judgment on Judea.1. Literally, "That which was the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah concerning the dearth"drought—literally, the "withholdings," namely, of rain (De 11:17; 2Ch 7:13). This word shouldbe used especially of the withholding of rain because rain is in those regions of all things the onechiefly needed (Jer 17:8, Margin).2. gates—The place of public concourse in each city looks sad, as being no longer frequented(Isa 3:26; 24:4).black—that is, they mourn (blackness being indicative of sorrow), (Jer 8:21).unto the ground—bowing towards it.cry—of distress (1Sa 5:12; Isa 24:11).3. little ones—rather, "their inferiors," that is, domestics.pits—cisterns for collecting rain water, often met with in the East where there are no springs.covered … heads—(2Sa 15:30). A sign of humiliation and mourning.5. The brute creation is reduced to the utmost extremity for the want of food. The "hind," famedfor her affection to her young, abandons them.6. wild asses—They repair to "the high places" most exposed to the winds, which they "snuffin" to relieve their thirst.dragons—jackals [Henderson].1288JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneyes—which are usually most keen in detecting grass or water from the "heights," so much sothat the traveller guesses from their presence that there must be herbage and water near; but now"their eyes fail." Rather the reference is to the great boas and python serpents which raise a largeportion of their body up in a vertical column ten or twelve feet high, to survey the neighborhoodabove the surrounding bushes, while with open jaws they drink in the air. These giant serpentsoriginated the widely spread notions which typified the deluge and all destructive agents under theform of a dragon or monster serpent; hence, the dragon temples always near water, in Asia, Africa,and Britain; for example, at Abury, in Wiltshire; a symbol of the ark is often associated with thedragon as the preserver from the waters [Kitto, Biblical Cyclopædia].7. do thou it—what we beg of Thee; interpose to remove the drought. Jeremiah pleads in thename of his nation (Ps 109:21). So "work for us," absolutely used (1Sa 14:6).for thy name's sake—"for our backslidings are so many" that we cannot urge Thee for thesake of our doings, but for the glory of Thy name; lest, if Thou give us not aid, it should be said itwas owing to Thy want of power (Jos 7:9; Ps 79:9; 106:8; Isa 48:9; Eze 20:44). The same appealto God's mercy, "for His name's sake," as our only hope, since our sin precludes trust in ourselves,occurs in Ps 25:11.8. The reference is, not to the faith of Israel which had almost ceased, but to the promise andeverlasting covenant of God. None but the true Israel make God their "hope." (Jer 17:13).turneth aside to tarry—The traveller cares little for the land he tarries but a night in; but Thouhast promised to dwell always in the midst of Thy people (2Ch 33:7, 8). Maurer translates, "spreadeth,"namely, his tent.9. astonied—like a "mighty man," at other times able to help (Isa 59:1), but now stunned by asudden calamity so as to disappoint the hopes drawn from in the midst of us—(Ex 29:45, 46; Le 26:11, 12).called by thy name—(Da 9:18, 19) as Thine own peculiar people (De 9:29).10. Jehovah's reply to the prayer (Jer 14:7-9; Jer 2:23-25).Thus—So greatly.loved—(Jer 5:31).not refrained … feet—They did not obey God's command; "withhold thy foot" (Jer 2:25),namely, from following after idols.remember … iniquity—(Ho 8:13; 9:9). Their sin is so great, God must punish them.11. (Jer 7:16; Ex 32:10).12. not hear—because their prayers are hypocritical: their hearts are still idolatrous. God neverrefuses to hear real prayer (Jer 7:21, 22; Pr 1:28; Isa 1:15; 58:3).sword … famine … pestilence—the three sorest judgments at once; any one of which wouldbe enough for their ruin (2Sa 24:12, 13).13. Jeremiah urges that much of the guilt of the people is due to the false prophets' influence.assured peace—solid and lasting peace. Literally, "peace of truth" (Isa 39:8).14. (Jer 23:21).15. (Jer 5:12, 13).By sword and famine … consumed—retribution in kind both to the false prophets and to theirhearers (Jer 14:16).16. none to bury—(Ps 79:3).pour their wickedness—that is, the punishment incurred by their wickedness (Jer 2:19).1289JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. (Jer 9:1; La 1:16). Jeremiah is desired to weep ceaselessly for the calamities coming on hisnation (called a "virgin," as being heretofore never under foreign yoke), (Isa 23:4).18. go about—that is, shall have to migrate into a land of exile. Horsley translates, "go traffickingabout the land (see Jer 5:31, Margin; 2Co 4:2; 2Pe 2:3), and take no knowledge" (that is, pay noregard to the miseries before their eyes) (Isa 1:3; 58:3). If the literal sense of the Hebrew verb beretained, I would with English Version understand the words as referring to the exile to Babylon;thus, "the prophet and the priest shall have to go to a strange land to practise their religious traffic(Isa 56:11; Eze 34:2, 3; Mic 3:11).19. The people plead with God, Jeremiah being forbidden to do healing—(Jer 15:18).peace … no good—(Jer 8:15).20. (Da 9:8).21. us—"the throne of Thy glory" may be the object of "abhor not" ("reject not"); or "Zion"(Jer 14:19).throne of thy glory—Jerusalem, or, the temple, called God's "footstool" and "habitation" (1Ch28:2; Ps 132:5).thy covenant—(Ps 106:45; Da 9:19).22. vanities—idols (De 32:21).rain—(Zec 10:1, 2).heavens—namely, of themselves without God (Mt 5:45; Ac 14:17); they are not the First Cause,and ought not to be deified, as they were by the heathen. The disjunctive "or" favors Calvin'sexplanation: "Not even the heavens themselves can give rain, much less can the idol vanities."art not thou he—namely, who canst give rain?CHAPTER 15Jer 15:1-21. God's Reply to Jeremiah's Intercessory Prayer.1. Moses … Samuel—eminent in intercessions (Ex 32:11, 12; 1Sa 7:9; Ps 99:6).be toward—could not be favorably inclined toward them.out of my sight—God speaks as if the people were present before Him, along with Jeremiah.2. death—deadly plague (Jer 18:21; 43:11; Eze 5:2, 12; Zec 11:9).3. appoint—(Le 26:16).kinds—of punishments.4. cause … to be removed—(De 28:25; Eze 23:46). Rather, "I will give them up to vexation,"I will cause them to wander so as nowhere to have repose [Calvin]; (2Ch 29:8, "trouble;" Margin,"commotion").because of Manasseh—He was now dead, but the effects of his sins still remained. How muchevil one bad man can cause! The evil fruits remain even after he himself has received repentanceand forgiveness. The people had followed his wicked example ever since; and it is implied that itwas only through the long-suffering of God that the penal consequences had been suspended up tothe present time (compare 1Ki 14:16; 2Ki 21:11; 23:26; 24:3, 4).5. go aside … how thou doest—Who will turn aside (in passing by) to salute thee (to wishthee "peace")?1290JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. weary with repenting—(Ho 13:14; 11:8). I have so often repented of the evil that I threatened(Jer 26:19; Ex 32:14; 1Ch 21:15), and have spared them, without My forbearance moving them torepentance, that I will not again change My purpose (God speaking in condescension to humanmodes of thought), but will take vengeance on them now.7. fan—tribulation—from tribulum, a threshing instrument, which separates the chaff from thewheat (Mt 3:12).gates of the land—that is, the extreme bounds of the land through which the entrance to andexit from it lie. Maurer translates, "I will fan," that is, cast them forth "to the gates of the land" (Na3:13). "In the gates"; English Version draws the image from a man cleaning corn with a fan; hestands at the gate of the threshing-floor in the open air, to remove the wheat from the chaff bymeans of the wind; so God threatens to remove Israel out of the bounds of the land [Houbigant].8. Their widows—My people's (Jer 15:7).have brought—prophetical past: I will bring.mother of the young men—"mother" is collective; after the "widows," He naturally mentionsbereavement of their sons ("young men"), brought on the "mothers" by "the spoiler"; it was owingto the number of men slain that the "widows" were so many [Calvin]. Others take "mother," as in2Sa 20:19, of Jerusalem, the metropolis; "I have brought on them, against the 'mother,' a youngspoiler," namely, Nebuchadnezzar, sent by his father, Nabopolassar, to repulse the Egyptian invaders(2Ki 23:29; 24:1), and occupy Judea. But Jer 15:7 shows the future, not the past, is referred to; and"widows" being literal, "mother" is probably so, noonday—the hottest part of the day, when military operations were usually suspended;thus it means unexpectedly, answering to the parallel, "suddenly"; openly, as others explain it, willnot suit the parallelism (compare Ps 91:6).it—English Version seems to understand by "it" the mother city, and by "him" the "spoiler";thus "it" will be parallel to "city." Rather, "I will cause to fall upon them (the 'mothers' about to bebereft of their sons) suddenly anguish and terrors."the city—rather, from a root "heat," anguish, or consternation. So the Septuagint.9. borne seven—(1Sa 2:5). Seven being the perfect number indicates full fruitfulness.languisheth—because not even one is left of all her sons (Jer 15:8).sun is gone down while … yet day—Fortune deserts her at the very height of her prosperity(Am 8:9).she … ashamed—The mothers (she being collective) are put to the shame of disappointedhopes through the loss of all their children.10. (Jer 20:14; Job 3:1, &c.). Jeremiah seems to have been of a peculiarly sensitive temperament;yet the Holy Spirit enabled him to deliver his message at the certain cost of having his sensitivenesswounded by the enmities of those whom his words of strife—exposed to strifes on the part of "the whole earth" (Ps 80:6).I have neither lent, &c.—proverbial for, "I have given no cause for strife against me."11. Verily—literally, "Shall it not be?" that is, "Surely it shall be."thy remnant—the final issue of thy life; thy life, which now seems to thee so sad, shall eventuatein prosperity [Calvin]. They who think that they shall be the surviving remnant, whereas thou shaltperish, shall themselves fall, whereas thou shalt remain and be favored by the conquerors [Junius],(Jer 40:4, 5; 39:11, 12). The Keri reads, "I will set thee free (or as Maurer, 'I will establish thee') forgood" (Jer 14:11; Ezr 8:22; Ps 119:122).1291JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto entreat thee well—literally, "to meet thee"; so "to be placable, nay, of their own accord toanticipate in meeting thee with kindness" [Calvin]. I prefer this translation as according with theevent (Jer 39:11, 12; 40:4, 5). Gesenius, from Jer 7:16; 27:18; Job 21:15, translates (not only will Irelieve thee from the enemy's vexations, but) "I will make thine enemy (that now vexeth thee) applyto thee with prayers" (Jer 38:14; 42:2-6).12. steel—rather, brass or copper, which mixed with "iron" (by the Chalybes near the EuxinePontus, far north of Palestine), formed the hardest metal, like our steel. Can the Jews, hardy likecommon iron though they be, break the still hardier Chaldees of the north (Jer 1:14), who resemblethe Chalybian iron hardened with copper? Certainly not [Calvin]. Henderson translates. "Can one breakiron, (even) the northern iron, and brass," on the ground that English Version makes ordinary ironnot so hard as brass. But it is not brass, but a particular mixture of iron and brass, which isrepresented as harder than common iron, which was probably then of inferior texture, owing toignorance of modern modes of preparation.13. Thy substance … sins—Judea's, not Jeremiah's.without price—God casts His people away as a thing worth naught (Ps 44:12). So, on thecontrary, Jehovah, when about to restore His people, says, He will give Egypt, &c., for their "ransom"(Isa 43:3).even in all thy borders—joined with "Thy substance … treasures, as also with "all thy sins,"their sin and punishment being commensurate (Jer 17:3).14. thee—Maurer supplies "them," namely, "thy treasures." Eichorn, needlessly, from Syriac andthe Septuagint, reads, "I will make thee to serve thine enemies"; a reading doubtless interpolatedfrom Jer—(De 32:22).15. thou knowest—namely, my case; what wrongs my adversaries have done me (Jer 12:3).revenge me—(See on Jer 11:20). The prophet in this had regard to, not his own personal feelingsof revenge, but the cause of God; he speaks by inspiration God's will against the ungodly. Contrastin this the law with the gospel (Lu 23:34; Ac 7:60).take me not away in thy long-suffering—By Thy long-suffering towards them, suffer themnot meanwhile to take away my life.for thy sake I have suffered rebuke—the very words of the antitype, Jesus Christ (Ps 69:7,22-28), which last compare with Jeremiah's prayer in the beginning of this verse.16. eat—(Eze 2:8; 3:1, 3; Re 10:9, 10). As soon as Thy words were found by me, I eagerly laidhold of and appropriated them. The Keri reads, "Thy word."thy word … joy—(Job 23:12; Ps 119:72, 111; compare Mt 13:44).called by thy name—I am Thine, Thy minister. So the antitype, Jesus Christ (Ex 23:21).17. My "rejoicing" (Jer 15:16) was not that of the profane mockers (Ps 1:1; 26:4, 5) at feasts.So far from having fellowship with these, he was expelled from society, and made to sit "alone,"because of his faithful prophecies.because of thy hand—that is, Thine inspiration (Isa 8:11; Eze 1:3; 3:14).filled me with indignation—So Jer 6:11, "full of the fury of the Lord"; so full was he of thesubject (God's "indignation" against the ungodly) with which God had inspired him, as not to beable to contain himself from expressing it. The same comparison by contrast between the effect ofinspiration, and that of wine, both taking a man out of himself, occurs (Ac 2:13, 15, 18).1292JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. (Jer 30:15). "Pain," namely, the perpetual persecution to which he was exposed, and hisbeing left by God without consolation and "alone." Contrast his feeling here with that in Jer 15:16,when he enjoyed the full presence of God, and was inspired by His words. Therefore he utterswords of his natural "infirmity" (so David, Ps 77:10) here; as before he spoke under the higherspiritual nature given a liar, and as—rather, "as a deceiving (river) … waters that are not sure (lasting)"; opposedto "living (perennial) waters" (Job 6:15). Streams that the thirsty traveller had calculated on beingfull in winter, but which disappoint him in his sorest need, having run dry in the heat of summer.Jehovah had promised Jeremiah protection from his enemies (Jer 1:18, 19); his infirmity suggeststhat God had failed to do so.19. God's reply to Jeremiah.return … bring … again—Jeremiah, by his impatient language, had left his proper posturetowards God; God saith, "If thou wilt return (to thy former patient discharge of thy propheticfunction) I will bring thee back" to thy former position: in the Hebrew there is a play of words,"return … turn again" (Jer 8:4; 4:1).stand before me—minister acceptably to Me (De 10:8; 1Ki 17:1; 18:15).take … precious from … vile—image from metals: "If thou wilt separate what is precious inthee (the divine graces imparted) from what is vile (thy natural corruptions, impatience, and hastywords), thou shall be as My mouth": my mouthpiece (Ex 4:16).return not thou unto them—Let not them lead you into their profane ways (as Jeremiah hadspoken irreverently, Jer 15:18), but lead thou them to the ways of godliness (Jer 15:16, 17). Eze22:26 accords with the other interpretation, which, however, does not so well suit the context, "Ifthou wilt separate from the promiscuous mass the better ones, and lead them to conversion byfaithful warnings," &c.20, 21. The promise of Jer 1:18, 19, in almost the same words, but with the addition, adaptedto the present attacks of Jeremiah's formidable enemies, "I will deliver thee out of … wicked …redeem … terrible"; the repetition is in order to assure Jeremiah that God is the same now as whenHe first made the promise, in opposition to the prophet's irreverent accusation of unfaithfulness(Jer 15:18).CHAPTER 16Jer 16:1-21. Continuation of the Previous Prophecy.2. in this place—in Judea. The direction to remain single was (whether literally obeyed, oronly in prophetic vision) to symbolize the coming calamities of the Jews (Eze 24:15-27) as sosevere that the single state would be then (contrary to the ordinary course of things) preferable tothe married (compare 1Co 7:8, 26, 29; Mt 24:19; Lu 23:29).4. grievous deaths—rather, "deadly diseases" (Jer 15:2).not … lamented—so many shall be the slain (Jer 22:18).dung—(Ps 83:10).5. (Eze 24:17, 22, 23).house of mourning—(Mr 5:38). Margin, "mourning-feast"; such feasts were usual at funerals.The Hebrew means, in Am 6:7, the cry of joy at a banquet; here, and La 2:19, the cry of sorrow.1293JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. cut themselves—indicating extravagant grief (Jer 41:5; 47:5), prohibited by the law (Le19:28).bald—(Jer 7:29; Isa 22:12).7. tear themselves—rather, "break bread," namely, that eaten at the funeral-feast (De 26:14;Job 42:11; Eze 24:17; Ho 9:4). "Bread" is to be supplied, as in La 4:4; compare "take" (food) (Ge42:33).give … cup of consolation … for … father—It was the Oriental custom for friends to sendviands and wine (the "cup of consolation") to console relatives in mourning-feasts, for example,to children upon the death of a "father" or "mother."8. house of feasting—joyous: as distinguished from mourning-feasts. Have no more to do withthis people whether in mourning or joyous feasts.9. (Jer 7:34; 25:10; Eze 26:13).10. (De 29:24; 1Ki 9:8, 9).11. (Jer 5:19; 13:22; 22:8, 9).12. ye—emphatic: so far from avoiding your fathers' bad example, ye have done worse (Jer7:26; 1Ki 14:9).imagination—rather, "stubborn perversity."that they may not hearken—rather, connected with "ye"; "ye have walked … so as not tohearken to Me."13. serve other gods—That which was their sin in their own land was their punishment inexile. Retribution in kind. They voluntarily forsook God for idols at home; they were not allowedto serve God, if they wished it, in captivity (Da 3:12; 6:7).day and night—irony. You may there serve idols, which ye are so mad after, even to satiety,and without intermission.14. Therefore—So severe shall be the Jews' bondage that their deliverance from it shall be agreater benefit than that out of Egypt. The consolation is incidental here; the prominent thought isthe severity of their punishment, so great that their rescue from it will be greater than that fromEgypt [Calvin]; so the context, Jer 16:13, 17, 18, proves (Jer 23:7, 8; Isa 43:18).15. the north—Chaldea. But while the return from Babylon is primarily meant, the returnhereafter is the full and final accomplishment contemplated, as "from all the lands" proves. "Israel"was not, save in a very limited sense, "gathered from all the lands" at the return from Babylon (seeon Jer 24:6; Jer 30:3; Jer 32:15).16. send for—translate, "I will send many"; "I will give the commission to many" (2Ch 17:7).fishers … hunters—successive invaders of Judea (Am 4:2; Hab 1:14, 15). So "net" (Eze 12:13).As to "hunters," see Ge 10:9; Mic 7:2. The Chaldees were famous in hunting, as the Egyptians, theother enemy of Judea, were in fishing. "Fishers" expresses the ease of their victory over the Jewsas that of the angler over fishes; "hunters," the keenness of their pursuit of them into every caveand nook. It is remarkable, the same image is used in a good sense of the Jews' restoration, implyingthat just as their enemies were employed by God to take them in hand for destruction, so the sameshall be employed for their restoration (Eze 47:9, 10). So spiritually, those once enemies by nature(fishermen many of them literally) were employed by God to be heralds of salvation, "catchingmen" for life (Mt 4:19; Lu 5:10; Ac 2:41; 4:4); compare here Jer 16:19, "the Gentiles shall comeunto thee" (2Co 12:16).17. (Jer 32:19; Pr 5:21; 15:3).1294JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontheir iniquity—the cause of God's judgments on them.18. first … double—Horsley translates, "I will recompense … once and again"; literally, "thefirst time repeated": alluding to the two captivities—the Babylonian and the Roman. Maurer, "I willrecompense their former iniquities (those long ago committed by their fathers) and their (own)repeated sins" (Jer 16:11, 12). English Version gives a good sense, "First (before 'I bring themagain into their land'), I will doubly (that is, fully and amply, Jer 17:18; Isa 40:2) recompense."carcasses—not sweet-smelling sacrifices acceptable to God, but "carcasses" offered to idols,an offensive odor to God: human victims (Jer 19:5; Eze 16:20), and unclean animals (Isa 65:4;66:17). Maurer explains it, "the carcasses" of the idols: their images void of sense and life. CompareJer 16:19, 20. Le 26:30 favors this.19, 20. The result of God's judgments on the Jews will be that both the Jews when restored,and the Gentiles who have witnessed those judgments, shall renounce idolatry for the worship ofJehovah. Fulfilled partly at the return from Babylon, after which the Jews entirely renounced idols,and many proselytes were gathered in from the Gentiles, but not to be realized in its fulness till thefinal restoration of Israel (Isa 2:1-17).20. indignant protest of Jeremiah against idols.and they (are) no gods—(Jer 2:11; Isa 37:19; Ga 4:8). "They" refers to the idols. A man (acreature himself) making God is a contradiction in terms. Vulgate takes "they" thus: "Shall manmake gods, though men themselves are not gods?"21. Therefore—In order that all may be turned from idols to Jehovah, He will now give awfulproof of His divine power in the judgments He will inflict.this once—If the punishments I have heretofore inflicted have not been severe enough to name … Lord—Jehovah (Ps 83:18): God's incommunicable name, to apply which to idolswould be blasphemy. Keeping His threats and promises (Ex 6:3).CHAPTER 17Jer 17:1-27. The Jews' Inveterate Love of Idolatry.The the Septuagint omits the first four verses, but other Greek versions have them.1. The first of the four clauses relates to the third, the second to the fourth, by alternateparallelism. The sense is: They are as keen after idols as if their propensity was "graven with aniron pen (Job 19:24) on their hearts," or as if it were sanctioned by a law "inscribed with a diamondpoint" on their altars. The names of their gods used to be written on "the horns of the altars" (Ac17:23). As the clause "on their hearts" refers to their inward propensity, so "on … altars," theoutward exhibition of it. Others refer "on the horns of … altars" to their staining them with theblood of victims, in imitation of the Levitical precept (Ex 29:12; Le 4:7, 18), but "written … graven,"would thus be inappropriate.table of … heart—which God intended to be inscribed very differently, namely, with His truths(Pr 3:3; 2Co 3:3).your—Though "their" preceded, He directly addresses them to charge the guilt home to themin particular.1295JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. children remember—Instead of forsaking the idolatries of their fathers, they keep them up(Jer 7:18). This is given as proof that their sin is "graven upon … altars" (Jer 17:1), that is, is notmerely temporary. They corrupt their posterity after them. Castalio less probably translates, "Theyremember their altars as (fondly as) they do their children."groves—rather, "images of Astarte," the goddess of the heavenly hosts, represented as a sacredtree, such as is seen in the Assyrian sculptures (2Ki 21:7; 2Ch 24:18). "Image of the grove." TheHebrew for "grove" is Asherah, that is, Assarak, Astarte, or the green trees—that is, near them: the sacred trees (idol symbols) of Astarte being placedin the midst of natural trees: "green trees" is thus distinguished from "groves," artificial trees.Henderson, to avoid taking the same Hebrew particle in the same sentence differently, "by … upon"translates "images of Astarte on the green trees." But it is not probable that images, in the form ofa sacred tree, should be hung on trees, rather than near them.3. mountain—Jerusalem, and especially Zion and the the field—As Jerusalem was surrounded by mountains (Ps 125:2), the sense probably is, Yerely on your mountainous position (Jer 3:23), but I will make "My mountain" to become as if itwere in a plain (field), so as to give thy substance an easy prey to the enemy [Calvin]. "Field" may,however, mean all Judea; it and "My mountain" will thus express the country and its capital.(Gesenius translates, "together with," instead of "in"; as the Hebrew is translated in Jer 11:19; Ho5:6; but this is not absolutely needed), "the substance" of both of which God "will give to the spoil."thy high places—corresponding in parallelism to "My mountain" (compare Isa 11:9), as "allthy borders," to "the field" (which confirms the view that "field" means all Judea).for sin—connected with high places" in English Version, namely, frequented for sin, that is,for idolatrous sacrifices. But Jer 15:13 makes the rendering probable, "I will give thy substance …to … spoil … on account of thy sin throughout all thy borders."4. even thyself—rather, "owing to thyself," that is, by thy own fault (Jer 15:13).discontinue from—be dispossessed of. Not only thy substance, but thyself shall be carried offto a strange land (Jer 15:14).5. Referring to the Jews' proneness to rely on Egypt, in its fear of Assyria and Babylon (Isa31:1, 3).trusteth—This word is emphatic. We may expect help from men, so far as God enables themto help us, but we must rest our trust in God alone (Ps 62:5).6. heath—In Ps 102:17; Isa 32:11; Hab 3:9, the Hebrew is translated, "bare," "naked," "destitute";but as the parallel in Jer 17:8 is "tree," some plant must be meant of which this is the characteristicepithet (Jer 48:6, Margin), "a naked tree." Robinson translates, "the juniper tree," found in the Arabahor Great Valley, here called "the desert," south of the Dead Sea. The "heath" was one of the plants,according to Pliny (13.21; 16.26), excluded from religious uses, because it has neither fruit nor seed,and is neither sown nor planted.not see … good—(Job 20:17).salt land—(De 29:23), barren ground.7. (Ps 34:8; Pr 16:20; Isa 30:18). Jeremiah first removed the weeds (false trusts), so that theremight be room for the good grain [Calvin].8. (Ps 1:3).shall not see—that is, feel. Answering to Jer 17:6; whereas the unbelievers "shall not see (even)when good cometh," the believer "shall not see (so as to be overwhelmed by it even) when heat1296JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(fiery trial) cometh." Trials shall come upon him as on all, nay, upon him especially (Heb 12:6);but he shall not sink under them, because the Lord is his secret strength, just as the "roots spreadout by a river" (or, "water-course") draw hidden support from it (2Co 4:8-11).careful—anxious, as one desponding (Lu 12:29; 1Pe 5:7).drought—literally, "withholding," namely, of rain (Jer 14:1); he here probably alludes to thedrought which had prevailed, but makes it the type of all kinds of distress.9. deceitful—from a root, "supplanting," "tripping up insidiously by the heel," from whichJacob (Ho 12:3) took his name. In speaking of the Jews' deceit of heart, he appropriately uses aterm alluding to their forefather, whose deceit, but not whose faith, they followed. His "supplanting"was in order to obtain Jehovah's blessing. They plant Jehovah for "trust in man" (Jer 17:5), andthen think to deceive God, as if it could escape His notice, that it is in man, not in Him, they trust.desperately wicked—"incurable" [Horsley], (Mic 1:9). Trust in one's own heart is as foolish asin our fellow man (Pr 28:26).10. Lest any should infer from Jer 17:9, "who can know it?" that even the Lord does not know,and therefore cannot punish, the hidden treachery of the heart, He says, "I the Lord search theheart," &c. (1Ch 28:9; Ps 7:9; Pr 17:3; Re 2:23).even to give—and that in order that I may give (Jer 32:19).11. partridge—(1Sa 26:20). Hebrew, korea, from a root, "to call," alluding to its cry; a namestill applied to a bustard by the Arabs. Its nest is liable, being on the ground, to be trodden underfoot, or robbed by carnivorous animals, notwithstanding all the beautiful manoeuvres of the parentbirds to save the brood. The translation, "sitteth on eggs which it has not laid," alludes to the ancientnotion that she stole the eggs of other birds and hatched them as her own; and that the young birdswhen grown left her for the true mother. It is not needful to make Scripture allude to an explodednotion, as if it were true. Maurer thinks the reference is to Jehoiakim's grasping cupidity (Jer 22:13-17).Probably the sense is more general; as previously He condemned trust in man (Jer 17:5), He nowcondemns another object of the deceitful hearts' trust, unjustly gotten riches (Ps 39:6; 49:16, 17;55:23).fool—(Pr 23:5; Lu 12:20); "their folly" (Ps 49:13). He himself, and all, shall at last perceivehe was not the wise man he thought he was.12. throne—the temple of Jerusalem, the throne of Jehovah. Having condemned false objectsof trust, "high places for sin" (Jer 17:3), and an "arm of flesh," he next sets forth Jehovah, and Histemple, which was ever open to the Jews, as the true object of confidence, and sanctuary to flee to.Henderson makes Jehovah, in Jer 17:13, the subject, and this verse predicate, "A throne of glory,high from the beginning, the place of our sanctuary, the hope of Israel is Jehovah." "Throne" isthus used for Him who sits on it; compare thrones (Col 1:16). He is called a "sanctuary" to Hispeople (Isa 8:14; Eze 11:16). So Syriac and Arabic.13. me—"Jehovah." Though "Thee" precedes. This sudden transition is usual in the propheticstyle, owing to the prophet's continual realization of Jehovah's presence.all that forsake thee—(Ps 73:27; Isa 1:28).written in the earth—in the dust, that is, shall be consigned to oblivion. So Jesus' significantwriting "on the ground (probably the accusers' names)" (Joh 8:6). Names written in the dust areobliterated by a very slight wind. Their hopes and celebrity are wholly in the earth, not in theheavenly book of life (Re 13:8; 20:12, 15). The Jews, though boasting that they were the peopleof God, had no portion in heaven, no status before God and His angels. Contrast "written in heaven,"1297JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat is, in the muster-roll of its blessed citizens (Lu 10:20). Also, contrast "written in a book," and"in the rock for ever" (Job 19:23, 24).living waters—(Jer 2:13).14-18. Prayer of the prophet for deliverance from the enemies whom he excited by his faithfuldenunciations.Heal … save—not only make me whole (as to the evils of soul as well as body which I amexposed to by contact with ungodly foes, Jer 15:18), but keep me praise—He whom I have to praise for past favors, and therefore to whom alone I look forthe time to come.15. Where is the word?—(Isa 5:19; Am 5:18). Where is the fulfilment of the threats whichthou didst utter as from God? A characteristic of the last stage of apostasy (2Pe 3:4).16. I have not refused Thy call of me to be a prophet (Jon 1:3), however painful to me it wasto utter what would be sure to irritate the hearers (Jer 1:4, &c.).; therefore Thou shouldest notforsake me (Jer 15:15, &c.).to follow thee—literally, "after thee"; as an under-pastor following Thee, the Chief Shepherd(Ec 12:11; 1Pe 5:4).neither … desired—I have not wished for the day of calamity, though I foretell it as about tocome on my countrymen; therefore they have no reason for persecuting me.thou knowest—I appeal to Thee for the truth of what I assert.that which came out of my lips—my words (De 23:23).right before thee—rather, "was before Thee"; was known to Thee—(Pr 5:21).17. a terror—namely, by deserting me: all I fear is Thine abandoning me; if Thou art with me,I have no fear of evil from enemies.18. destroy … destruction—"break them with a double breach," Hebrew (Jer 14:17). On"double," see on Jer 16:18.19-27. Delivered in the reign of Jehoiakim, who undid the good effected by Josiah's reformation,especially as to the observance of the Sabbath [Eichorn].gate of … children of … people—The gate next the king's palace, called the gate of David,and the gate of the people, from its being the principal thoroughfare: now the Jaffa gate. It is probablythe same as "the gate of the fountain" at the foot of Zion, near which were the king's garden andpool (Jer 39:4; 2Ki 25:4; Ne 2:14; 3:15; 12:37).20. kings—He begins with the kings, as they ought to have repressed such a glaring profanation.21. Take heed to yourselves—literally, "to your souls." Maurer explains, "as ye love your lives";a phrase used here to give the greater weight to the command.sabbath—The non-observance of it was a chief cause of the captivity, the number of years ofthe latter, seventy, being exactly made to agree with the number of Sabbaths which elapsed duringthe four hundred ninety years of their possession of Canaan from Saul to their removal (Le 26:34,35; 2Ch 36:21). On the restoration, therefore, stress was especially laid on Sabbath observance (Ne13:19).Jerusalem—It would have been scandalous anywhere; but in the capital, Jerusalem, it was anopen insult to God. Sabbath-hallowing is intended as a symbol of holiness in general (Eze 20:12);therefore much stress is laid on it; the Jews' gross impiety is manifested in their setting God's willat naught, in the case of such an easy and positive command.23. (Jer 7:24, 26).1298JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson24. A part put for the whole, "If ye keep the Sabbath and My other laws."25. kings … in chariots—The kingdom at this time had been brought so low that this promisehere was a special favor.remain—Hebrew, "be inhabited" (Jer 17:6; Isa 13:20).26. plain mountains … south—(Jos 15:1-4). The southern border had extended to the riverof Egypt, but was now much curtailed by Egyptian invasions (2Ch 35:20; 36:3, 4). The Hebrewfor "south" means dry; the arid desert south of Judea is meant. The enumeration of all the parts ofJudea, city, country, plain, hill, and desert, implies that no longer shall there be aught wanting ofthe integrity of the Jewish land (Zec 7:7).sacrifices—As in Jer 17:22, one constituent of Judea's prosperity is mentioned, namely, itskings on David's throne, the pledge of God being its guardian; so in this verse another constituent,namely, its priests, a pledge of God being propitious to it (Ps 107:22).27. burden … in … gates … fire in the gates—retribution answering to the sin. The scene oftheir sin shall be the scene of their punishment (Jer 52:13; 2Ki 25:9).CHAPTER 18Jer 18:1-23. God, as the Sole Sovereign, Has an Absolute Right to Deal with Nations According to Their Conducttowards Him; Illustrated in a Tangible Form by the Potter's Moulding of Vessels from Clay.2. go down—namely, from the high ground on which the temple stood, near which Jeremiahexercised his prophetic office, to the low ground, where some well-known (this is the force of "the")potter had his workshop.3. wheels—literally, "on both stones." The potter's horizontal lathe consisted of two roundplates, the lower one larger, the upper smaller; of stone originally, but afterwards of wood. On theupper the potter moulded the clay into what shapes he pleased. They are found represented inEgyptian remains. In Ex 1:16 alone is the Hebrew word found elsewhere, but in a different sense.4. marred—spoiled. "Of clay" is the true reading, which was corrupted into "as clay" (Margin),through the similarity of the two Hebrew letters, and from Jer 18:6, "as the clay."6. Refuting the Jews' reliance on their external privileges as God's elect people, as if God couldnever cast them off. But if the potter, a mere creature, has power to throw away a marred vesseland raise up other clay from the ground, a fortiori God, the Creator, can cast away the people whoprove unfaithful to His election and can raise others in their stead (compare Isa 45:9; 64:8; Ro 9:20,21). It is curious that the potter's field should have been the purchase made with the price of Judas'treachery (Mt 27:9, 10: a potter's vessel dashed to pieces, compare Ps 2:8, 9; Re 2:27), because ofits failing to answer the maker's design, being the very image to depict God's sovereign power togive reprobates to destruction, not by caprice, but in the exercise of His righteous judgment. Matthewquotes Zechariah's words (Zec 11:12, 13) as Jeremiah's because the latter (Jer 18:1-19:15) was thesource from which the former derived his summary in Zec 11:12, 13 [Hengstenberg].7. At what instant—in a moment, when the nation least expects it. Hereby he reminds the Jewshow marvellously God had delivered them from their original degradation, that is, In one and thesame day ye were the most wretched, and then the most favored of all people [Calvin].8. their evil—in antithesis to, "the evil that I thought to do."1299JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrepent—God herein adapts Himself to human conceptions. The change is not in God, but inthe circumstances which regulate God's dealings: just as we say the land recedes from us when wesail forth, whereas it is we who recede from the land (Eze 18:21; 33:11). God's unchangeableprinciple is to do the best that can be done under all circumstances; if then He did not take intoaccount the moral change in His people (their prayers, &c.), He would not be acting according toHis own unchanging principle (Jer 18:9, 10). This is applied practically to the Jews' case (Jer 18:11;see Jer 26:3; Jon 3:10).11. frame evil—alluding to the preceding image of "the potter," that is, I, Jehovah, am now asit were the potter framing evil against you; but in the event of your repenting, it is in My power toframe anew My course of dealing towards you.return, &c.—(2Ki 17:13).12. no hope—Thy threats and exhortations are all thrown away (Jer 2:25). Our case is desperate;we are hopelessly abandoned to our sins and their penalty. In this and the following clauses, "Wewill walk after our own devices," Jeremiah makes them express the real state of the case, ratherthan the hypocritical subterfuges which they would have been inclined to put forth. So Isa 30:10,11.13. (Jer 2:10, 11). Even among the heathen it was a thing unheard of, that a nation should layaside its gods for foreign gods, though their gods are false gods. But Israel forsook the true Godfor foreign false of Israel—(2Ki 19:21). It enhances their guilt, that Israel was the virgin whom God hadspecially betrothed to Him.horrible thing—(Jer 5:30).14. Is there any man (living near it) who would leave the snow of Lebanon (that is, the coolmelted snow water of Lebanon, as he presently explains), which cometh from the rock of the field(a poetical name for Lebanon, which towers aloft above the surrounding field, or comparativelyplain country)? None. Yet Israel forsakes Jehovah, the living fountain close at hand, for foreignbroken cisterns. Jer 17:13; 2:13, accord with English Version here. Maurer translates, "Shall thesnow of Lebanon cease from the rock to water (literally, 'forsake') My fields" (the whole landaround being peculiarly Jehovah's)? Lebanon means the "white mountain"; so called from theperpetual snow which covers that part called Hermon, stretching northeast of Palestine.that come from another place—that come from far, namely, from the distant lofty rocks ofLebanon. Henderson translates, "the compressed waters," namely, contracted within a narrow channelwhile descending through the gorges of the rocks; "flowing" may in this view be rather "flowingdown" (So 4:15). But the parallelism in English Version is better, "which cometh from the rock,""that cometh from another place."be forsaken—answering to the parallel, "Will a man leave," &c. Maurer translates, "dry up," or"fail" (Isa 19:5); the sense thus being, Will nature ever turn aside from its fixed course? The "coldwaters" (compare Pr 25:25) refer to the perennial streams, fed from the partial melting of the snowin the hot weather.15. Because—rather, "And yet"; in defiance of the natural order of things.forgotten me—(Jer 2:32). This implies a previous knowledge of God, whereas He was unknownto the Gentiles; the Jews' forgetting of God, therefore, arose from determined perversity.they have caused … to stumble—namely the false prophets and idolatrous priests have.1300JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonancient paths—(Jer 6:16): the paths which their pious ancestors trod. Not antiquityindiscriminately, but the example of the fathers who trod the right way, is here commended.them—the Jews.not cast up—not duly prepared: referring to the raised center of the road. Calvin translates, "nottrodden." They had no precedent of former saints to induce them to devise for themselves a newworship.16. hissing—(1Ki 9:8). In sign of contempt. That which was to be only the event is ascribed tothe purpose of the people, although altogether different from what they would have been likely tohope for. Their purpose is represented as being the destruction of their country, because it was theinevitable result of their course of acting.wag … head—in mockery (2Ki 19:21; Mt 27:39). As "wag … head" answers to "hissing," so"astonished" answers to "desolate," for which, therefore, Munster and others rather translate, "anobject of wonder" (Jer 19:8).17. as with an east wind—literally, "I will scatter them, as an east wind (scatters all beforeit)": a most violent wind (Job 27:21; Ps 48:7; Isa 27:8). Thirty-two manuscripts read (without as),"with an east wind."I will show them the back … not … face—just retribution: as "they turned their back untoMe … not their face" (Jer 2:27).18. (Jer 11:19). Let us bring a capital charge against him, as a false prophet; "for (whereas heforetells that this land shall be left without priests to teach the law, Mal 2:7; without scribes toexplain its difficulties; and without prophets to reveal God's will), the law shall not perish from theprophet," &c.; since God has made these a lasting institution in His church, and the law declaresthey shall never perish (Le 6:18; 10:11; compare Jer 5:12) [Grotius].the wise—scribes and elders joined to the priests. Perhaps they mean to say, we must have righton our side, in spite of Jeremiah's words against us and our prophets (Jer 28:15, 16; 29:25, 32;5:31); "for the law shall not perish," &c. I prefer Grotius' explanation.with … tongue—by a false accusation (Ps 57:4; 64:3; 12:4; 50:19). "For the tongue" (Margin),that is, for his speaking against us. "In the tongue," that is, let us kill him, that he may speak nomore against us [Castalio].19. Give heed—contrasted with, "let us not give heed" (Jer 18:18). As they give no heed to me,do Thou, O Lord, give heed to me, and let my words at least have their weight with Thee.20. In the particulars here specified, Jeremiah was a type of Jesus Christ (Ps 109:4, 5; Joh 15:25).my soul—my life; me (Ps 35:7).I stood before thee … to turn away thy wrath—so Moses (Ps 106:23; compare Eze 22:30).So Jesus Christ, the antitype of previous partial intercessors (Isa 59:16).21. pour out their blood by the force of the sword—literally, "by the hands of the sword."So Eze 35:5. Maurer with Jerome translates, "deliver them over to the power of the sword." Butcompare Ps 63:10, Margin; Isa 53:12. In this prayer he does not indulge in personal revenge, as ifit were his own cause that was at stake; but he speaks under the dictation of the Spirit, ceasing tointercede, and speaking prophetically, knowing they were doomed to destruction as reprobates; forthose not so, he doubtless ceased not to intercede. We are not to draw an example from this, whichis a special case.put to death—or, as in Jer 15:2, "perish by the death plague" [Maurer].1301JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmen … young men—Horsley distinguishes the former as married men past middle age; thelatter, the flower of unmarried youth.22. cry—by reason of the enemy bursting in: let their houses be no shelter to them in theircalamities [Calvin].digged … pit—(Jer 18:20; Ps 57:6; 119:85).23. forgive not—(Ps 109:9, 10, 14).blot out—image from an account-book (Re 20:12).before thee—Hypocrites suppose God is not near, so long as they escape punishment; but whenHe punishes, they are said to stand before Him, because they can no longer flatter themselves theycan escape His eye (compare Ps 90:8).deal thus—exert Thy power against them [Maurer].time of thine anger—Though He seems to tarry, His time shall come at last (Ec 8:11, 12; 2Pe3:9, 10).CHAPTER 19Jer 19:1-15. The Desolation of the Jews for Their Sins Foretold in the Valley of Hinnom; the Symbol of Breakinga Bottle.Referred by Maurer, &c., to the beginning of Zedekiah's reign.1. bottle—Hebrew, bakuk, so called from the gurgling sound which it makes when beingemptied.ancients—elders. As witnesses of the symbolic action (Jer 19:10; Isa 8:1, 2), that the Jewsmight not afterwards plead ignorance of the prophecy. The seventy-two elders, composing theSanhedrim, or Great Council, were taken partly from "the priests," partly from the other tribes, thatis, "the people," the former presiding over spiritual matters, the latter over civil; the seventy-tworepresented the whole people.2. valley of the son of Hinnom—or Tophet, south of Jerusalem, where human victims wereoffered, and children made to pass through the fire, in honor of Molech.east gate—Margin, "sun gate," sunrise being in the east. Maurer translates, the "potter's gate."Through it lay the road to the valley of Hinnom (Jos 15:8). The potters there formed vessels forthe use of the temple, which was close by (compare Jer 19:10, 14; Jer 18:2; Zec 11:13). The sameas "the water gate toward the east" (Ne 3:26; 12:37); so called from the brook Kedron. Calvintranslates, as English Version and Margin. "It was monstrous perversity to tread the law under footin so conspicuous a place, over which the sun daily rising reminded them of the light of God's law."3. The scene of their guilt is chosen as the scene of the denunciation against them.kings—the king and queen (Jer 13:18); or including the king's counsellors and governors underhim.tingle—as if struck by a thunder peal (1Sa 3:11; 2Ki 21:12).4. (Isa 65:11).estranged this place—devoted it to the worship of strange gods: alienating a portion of thesacred city from God, the rightful Lord of the temple, city, and whole land.nor their fathers—namely, the godly among them; their ungodly fathers God makes no accountof.1302JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonblood of innocents—slain in honor of Molech (Jer 7:31; Ps 106:37).5. commanded not—nay, more, I commanded the opposite (Le 18:21; see Jer 7:31, 32).6. no more … Tophet—from Hebrew, toph, "drum"; for in sacrificing children to Molechdrums were beaten to drown their cries. Thus the name indicated the joy of the people at the fanciedpropitiation of the god by this sacrifice; in antithesis to its joyless name subsequently.valley of slaughter—It should be the scene of slaughter, no longer of children, but of men; notof "innocents" (Jer 19:4), but of those who richly deserved their fate. The city could not be assailedwithout first occupying the valley of Hinnom, in which was the only fountain: hence arose theviolent battle there.7. make void the counsel—defeat their plans for repelling the enemy (2Ch 32:1-4; Isa 19:3;22:9, 11). Or their schemes of getting help by having recourse to idols [Calvin].in this place—The valley of Hinnom was to be the place of the Chaldean encampment; thevery place where they looked for help from idols was to be the scene of their own slaughter.8. (See on Jer 18:16).9. (De 28:53; La 4:10).10. break … bottle—a symbolical action, explained in Jer 19:11.the men—the elders of the people and of the priests (Jer 19:1; compare Jer 51:63, 64).11. as one breaketh a potter's vessel—expressing God's absolute sovereignty (Jer 18:6; Ps2:9; Isa 30:14, Margin; La 4:2; Ro 9:20, 21).cannot be made whole again—A broken potter's vessel cannot be restored, but a new one maybe made of the same material. So God raised a new Jewish seed, not identical with the destroyedrebels, but by substituting another generation in their stead [Grotius].no place to bury—(Jer 7:32).12. make this city as Tophet—that is, as defiled with dead bodies as Tophet.13. shall be defiled—with dead bodies (Jer 19:12; 2Ki 23:10).because of all the houses—Rather, (explanatory of the previous "the houses … and … houses"),"even all the houses," &c. [Calvin].roofs—being flat, they were used as high places for sacrifices to the sun and planets (Jer 32:29;2Ki 23:11, 12; Zep 1:5). The Nabateans, south and east of the Dead Sea, a nation most friendly tothe Jews, according to Strabo, had the same usage.14. court of the Lord's house—near Tophet; the largest court, under the open air, where wasthe greatest crowd (2Ch 20:5).15. her towns—the suburban villages and towns near Jerusalem, such as Bethany.CHAPTER 20Jer 20:1-18. Jeremiah's Incarceration by Pashur, the Principal Officer of the Temple, for Prophesying within ItsPrecincts; His Renewed Predictions against the City, &c., ON His Liberation.1. son—descendant.of Immer—one of the original "governors of the sanctuary and of the house of God," twenty-fourin all, that is, sixteen of the sons of Eleazar and eight of the sons of Ithamar (1Ch 24:14). ThisPashur is distinct from Pashur, son of Melchiah (Jer 21:1). The "captains" (Lu 22:4) seem to havebeen over the twenty-four guards of the temple, and had only the right of apprehending any who1303JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwere guilty of delinquency within it; but the Sanhedrim had the judicial power over such delinquents[Grotius] (Jer 26:8, 10, 16).2. The fact that Pashur was of the same order and of the same family as Jeremiah aggravatesthe indignity of the blow (1Ki 22:24; Mt 26:67).stocks—an instrument of torture with five holes, in which the neck, two hands, and two feetwere thrust, the body being kept in a crooked posture (Jer 29:26). From a Hebrew root, to "turn,"or "rack." This marks Pashur's cruelty.high—that is, the upper gate (2Ki 15:35).gate of Benjamin—a gate in the temple wall, corresponding to the gate of Benjamin, properlyso called, in the city wall, in the direction of the territory of Benjamin (Jer 7:2; 37:13; 38:7). Thetemple gate of Benjamin, being on a lofty position, was called "the high gate," to distinguish itfrom the city wall gate of Benjamin.3. Pashur—compounded of two roots, meaning "largeness (and so 'security') on every side";in antithesis to Magor-missabib, "terror round about" (Jer 20:10; Jer 6:25; 46:5; 49:29; Ps 31:13).4. terror … to all thy friends—who have believed thy false promises (Jer 20:6). The sensemust be in order to accord with "fear round about" (Jer 20:3). I will bring terror on thee and on allthy friends, that terror arising from thyself, namely, thy false prophecies. Thou and thy prophecieswill be seen, to the dismay both of thee and thy dupes, to have caused their ruin and thine. Maurer'stranslation is therefore not needed, "I will give up thee and all thy friends to terror."5. strength—that is, resources.labours—fruits of labor, gain, wealth.6. prophesied lies—namely, that God cannot possibly leave this land without prophets, priests,and teachers ("the wise") (Jer 18:18; compare Jer 5:31).7. Jeremiah's complaint, not unlike that of Job, breathing somewhat of human infirmity inconsequence of his imprisonment. Thou didst promise never to give me up to the will of mineenemies, and yet Thou hast done so. But Jeremiah misunderstood God's promise, which was notthat he should have nothing to suffer, but that God would deliver him out of sufferings (Jer 1:19).deceived—Others translate as Margin, "Thou hast enticed" or "persuaded me," namely, toundertake the prophetic office, "and I was persuaded," that is, suffered myself to be persuaded toundertake what I find too hard for me. So the Hebrew word is used in a good sense (Ge 9:27,Margin; Pr 25:15; Ho 2:14).stronger than I—Thou whose strength I could not resist hast laid this burden on me, and hastprevailed (hast made me prophesy, in spite of my reluctance) (Jer 1:5-7); yet, when I exercise myoffice, I am treated with derision (La 3:14).8. Rather, "Whenever I speak, I cry out. Concerning violence and spoil, I (am compelled to)cry out," that is, complain [Maurer]. English Version in the last clause is more graphic, "I criedviolence and spoil" (Jer 6:7)! I could not speak in a calm tone; their desperate wickedness compelledme to "cry out."because—rather, "therefore," the apodosis of the previous sentence; because in dischargingmy prophetic functions, I not merely spake, but cried; and cried, violence … ; therefore the wordof the Lord was made a reproach to me (Jer 20:7).9. his word was—or literally, "there was in my heart, as it were, a burning fire," that is, thedivine afflatus or impulse to speak was as … (Job 32:18, 19; Ps 39:3).1304JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonweary with forbearing, and I could not—"I labored to contain myself, but I could not" (Ac18:5; compare Jer 23:9; 1Co 9:16, 17).10. For—not referring to the words immediately preceding, but to "I will not make mention ofHim." The "defaming" or detraction of the enemy on every side (see Ps 31:13) tempted him tothink of prophesying no more.Report … we will report—The words of his adversaries one to the other; give any informationagainst him (true or false) which will give color for accusing him; and "we will report it," namely,to the Sanhedrim, in order to crush him.familiars—literally, "men of my peace"; those who pretended to be on peaceable terms withme (Ps 41:9). Jeremiah is a type of Messiah, referred to in that Psalm. (See Jer 38:22; Job 19:19;Ps 55:13, 14; Lu 11:53, 54).watched for my halting—(Ps 35:15, Margin, "halting"; Ps 38:17; 71:10, Margin). Gesenius notso well translates, according to Arabic idiom, "those guarding my side" (that is, my most intimatefriends always at my side), in apposition to "familiars," and the subject of "say" (instead of "saying").The Hebrew means properly "side," then "halting," as the halt bend on one side.enticed—to commit some sin.11. not prevail—as they hoped to do (Jer 20:10; Jer 15:20).prosper—in their plot.12. triest the righteous—in latent contrast to the hasty judgments of men (Jer 11:20; 17:10).opened—that is, committed (compare 2Ki 19:14; Ps 35:1).13. delivered … soul—This deliverance took place when Zedekiah succeeded Jeconiah.14-18. The contrast between the spirit of this passage and the preceding thanksgiving is to beexplained thus: to show how great was the deliverance (Jer 20:13), he subjoins a picture of whathis wounded spirit had been previous to his deliverance; I had said in the time of my imprisonment,"Cursed be the day"; my feeling was that of Job (Job 3:3, 10, 11, whose words Jeremiah thereforecopies). Though Jeremiah's zeal had been stirred up, not so much for self as for God's honor trampledon by the rejection of the prophet's words, yet it was intemperate when he made his birth a subjectfor cursing, which was really a ground for thanksgiving.15. A man child—The birth of a son is in the East a special subject of joy; whereas that of adaughter is often not so.16. the cities—Sodom and Gomorrah.cry … morning … noontide—that is, Let him be kept in alarm the whole day (not merely atnight when terrors ordinarily prevail, but in daytime when it is something extraordinary) withterrifying war shouts, as those in a besieged city (Jer 18:22).17. he—"that man" (Jer 20:15, 16).from the womb—that is, at that time while I was still in the womb.CHAPTER 21Jer 21:1-44. Zedekiah Consults Jeremiah What Is to Be the Event of the War: God's Answer.Written probably when, after having repulsed the Egyptians who brought succors to the Jews(Jer 37:5-8; 2Ki 24:7), the Chaldees were a second time advancing against Jerusalem, but were notyet closely besieging it (Jer 21:4, 13) [Rosenmuller]. This chapter probably ought to be placed between1305JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe thirty-seventh and thirty-eight chapters; since what the "princes," in Jer 38:2, represent Jeremiahas having said, is exactly what we find in Jer 21:9. Moreover, the same persons as here (Jer 21:1)are mentioned in Jer 37:3; 38:1, namely, Pashur and Zephaniah. What is here more fully related isthere simply referred to in the historical narrative. Compare Jer 52:24; 2Ki 25:18 [Maurer].1. Zedekiah—a prince having some reverence for sacred things, for which reason he sends anhonorable embassy to Jeremiah; but not having moral courage to obey his better impulses.Pashur—son of Melchiah, of the fifth order of priests, distinct from Pashur, son of Immer (Jer20:1), of the sixteenth order (1Ch 24:9, 14).Zephaniah—of the twenty-fourth order. They are designated, not by their father, but by theirfamily (1Ch 24:18).2. Nebuchadrezzar—the more usual way of spelling the name in Jeremiah than Nebuchadnezzar.From Persiac roots, meaning either "Nebo, the chief of the gods," or, "Nebo, the god of fire." Hewas son of Nabopolassar, who committed the command of the army against Egypt, at Carchemish,and against Judea, to the crown prince.according to all his wondrous works—Zedekiah hopes for God's special interposition, suchas was vouchsafed to Hezekiah against Sennacherib (2Ki 19:35, 36).he—Nebuchadnezzar.go up from us—rise up from the siege which he sat down to lay (Jer 37:5, 11, Margin; Nu16:24, 27; 1Ki 15:19, Margin).4. God of Israel—Those "wondrous works" (Jer 21:2) do not belong to you; God is faithful;it is you who forfeit the privileges of the covenant by unfaithfulness. "God will always remain theGod of Israel, though He destroy thee and thy people" [Calvin].turn back the weapons—I will turn them to a very different use from what you intend them.With them you now fight against the Chaldees "without the walls" (the Jewish defenders being asyet able to sally forth more freely, and defend the fountains outside the walls in the valley underMount Zion; see Jer 21:13; Jer 19:6, 7); but soon ye shall be driven back within the city [Maurer],and "in the midst" of it, I will cause all your arms to be gathered in one place ("I will assemblethem," namely, your arms) by the Chaldean conquerors [Grotius], who shall slay you with those veryarms [Menochius].5. The Jews shall have not merely the Chaldees, but Jehovah Himself in wrath at theirprovocations, fighting against them. Every word enhances the formidable character of God'sopposition, "I myself … outstretched hand … strong arm (no longer as in Ex 6:6, and in the caseof Sennacherib, in your behalf, but) in anger … fury … great wrath."7. the people, and such—rather, explanatory, "the people," namely, "such as are left."seek their life—content with nothing short of their death; not content with plundering andenslaving them.smite with … sword—This was the fate of Zedekiah's sons and many of the Jewish nobles.Zedekiah himself, though not put to a violent death, died of grief. Compare as to the accuratefulfilment, Jer 34:4; Eze 12:13; 2Ki 25:6, 7.8. "Life," if ye surrender; "death," if ye persist in opposing the Chaldees (compare De 30:19).The individuality of Jeremiah's mission from God is shown in that he urges to unconditionalsurrender; whereas all former prophets had urged the people to oppose their invaders (Isa 7:16;37:33, 35).9. (Jer 38:2, 17, 18).1306JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfalleth to—deserts … a prey—proverbial, to make one's escape with life, like a valuable spoil or prey that onecarries off; the narrowness of the escape, and the joy felt at it, are included in the idea (Jer 39:18).10. set … face against—determined to punish (See on Le 17:10).12. house of David—the royal family and all in office about the king. He calls them so, becauseit was the greater disgrace that they had so degenerated from the piety of their forefather, David;and to repress their glorying in their descent from him, as if they were therefore inviolable; butGod will not spare them as the morning—alluding to the time of dispensing justice (Job 24:17; Ps 101:8); but the senseis mainly proverbial, for "with promptness" (Ps 90:14; 143:8). Maurer translates, "every morning."lest my fury … like fire—Already it was kindled, and the decree of God gone forth againstthe city (Jer 21:4, 5), but the king and his house may yet be preserved by repentance and reformation.God urges to righteousness, not as if they can thereby escape punishment wholly, but as the conditionof a mitigation of it.13. inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain—Jerusalem personified; situated for themost part on hills, with valleys at the bottom of them, as the valley of Hinnom, &c.; and beyondthe valleys and mountains again, a position most fortified by nature, whence the inhabitants fanciedthemselves beyond the reach of enemies; but since God is "against" them, their position will availnothing for them. The "valley" between Mount Zion and Moriah is called Tyropoeon. Robinson takes,"rock of the plain" as Mount Zion, on which is a level tract of some extent. It is appropriately herereferred to, being the site of the royal residence of the "house of David," addressed (Jer 21:12).14. fruit of your doings—(Pr 1:31; Isa 3:10, 11).forest thereof—namely of your city, taken from Jer 21:13. "Forest" refers to the dense massof houses built of cedar, &c., brought from Lebanon (Jer 22:7; 52:13; 2Ki 25:9).CHAPTER 22Jer 22:1-30. Exhortation to Repentance; Judgment on Shallum, Jehoiakim, and Coniah.Belonging to an earlier period than the twenty-first chapter, namely, the reigns of Shallum orJehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah (Jer 22:10, 13, 20). Jeremiah often groups his prophecies, notby chronological order, but by similarity of subjects; thus Jer 22:3 corresponds to Jer 21:12. Grotiusthinks that Jeremiah here repeats to Zedekiah what he had announced to that king's predecessorsformerly (namely, his brother and brother's son), of a similar bearing, and which had since cometo pass; a warning to Zedekiah. Probably, in arranging his prophecies they were grouped for thefirst time in the present order, designed by the Holy Spirit to set forth the series of kings of Judah,all four alike, failing in "righteousness," followed at last by the "King," a righteous Branch raisedunto David, in the house of Judah, "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6). The unrighteousnessof Zedekiah suggested the review of his predecessors' failure in the same respects, and consequentpunishment, which ought to have warned him, but did not.1. Go down—The temple (where Jeremiah had been prophesying) was higher than the king'spalace on Mount Zion (Jer 36:10, 12; 2Ch 23:20). Hence the phrase, "Go down."the king of Judah—perhaps including each of the four successive kings, to whom it wasconsecutively addressed, here brought together in one picture: Shallum, Jer 22:11; Jehoiakim, Jer1307JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22:13-18; Jeconiah, Jer 22:24; Zedekiah, the address to whom (Jer 21:1, 11, 12) suggests notice ofthe rest.2. these gates—of the king's palace.3. Jehoiakim is meant here especially: he, by oppression, levied the tribute imposed on him byPharaoh-necho, king of Egypt (2Ch 36:3), and taxed his people, and took their labor without pay,to build gorgeous palaces for himself (Jer 22:13-17), and shed innocent blood, for example, thatof Urijah the prophet (Jer 26:20-24; 2Ki 23:35; 24:4).4. upon the throne of David—literally, "or David on his throne" (see on Jer 13:13). This verseis repeated substantially from Jer 17:25.his servants—so the Keri. But Chetib, singular, "his servant;" that is, distributively, "each withhis servants;" Jer 17:25, "their princes."5. I swear by myself—(Heb 6:13, 17). God swears because it seemed to them incredible thatthe family of David should be cast off.this house—the king's, where Jeremiah spake (Jer 22:4).6. Though thou art as beautiful as Gilead, and as majestic in Mine eyes (before Me) as thesummit of Lebanon, yet surely (the Hebrew is a formula of swearing to express certainly: "If I donot make thee … believe Me not ever hereafter": so "as truly as I live," Nu 14:28; "surely," Nu14:35). The mention of Gilead may allude not only to its past beauty, but covertly also to itsdesolation by the judgment on Israel; a warning now to Judah and the house of David. "Lebanon"is appropriately mentioned, as the king's house was built of its noble cedars.cities—not other cities, but the different parts of the city of Jerusalem (2Sa 12:27; 2Ki 10:25)[Maurer].7. prepare—literally, "sanctify," or solemnly set apart for a particular work (compare Isa 13:3).thy choice cedars—(Isa 37:24). Thy palaces built of choice cedars (So 1:17).8. (De 29:24, 25). The Gentile nations, more intelligent than you, shall understand that whichye do not, namely, that this city is a spectacle of God's vengeance [Calvin].9. (2Ki 22:17).10, 11. Weep … not for—that is, not so much for Josiah, who was taken away by death fromthe evil to come (2Ki 22:20; Isa 57:1); as for Shallum or Jehoahaz, his son (2Ki 23:30), who, aftera three months' reign, was carried off by Pharaoh-necho into Egypt, never to see his native landagain (2Ki 23:31-34). Dying saints are justly to be envied, while living sinners are to be pitied. Theallusion is to the great weeping of the people at the death of Josiah, and on each anniversary of it,in which Jeremiah himself took a prominent part (2Ch 35:24, 25). The name "Shallum" is heregiven in irony to Jehoahaz, who reigned but three months; as if he were a second Shallum, son ofJabesh, who reigned only one month in Samaria (2Ki 15:13; 2Ch 36:1-4). Shallum means"retribution," a name of no good omen to him [Grotius]; originally the people called him Shallom,indicative of peace and prosperity. But Jeremiah applies it in irony. 1Ch 3:15, calls Shallum thefourth son of Josiah. The people raised him to the throne before his brother Eliakim or Jehoiakim,though the latter was the older (2Ki 23:31, 36; 2Ch 36:1); perhaps on account of Jehoiakim'sextravagance (Jer 22:13, 15). Jehoiakim was put in Shallum's (Jehoahaz') stead by Pharaoh-necho.Jeconiah, his son, succeeded. Zedekiah (Mattaniah), uncle of Jeconiah, and brother of Jehoiakimand Jehoahaz, was last of all raised to the throne by Nebuchadnezzar.1308JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHe shall not return—The people perhaps entertained hopes of Shallum's return from Egypt,in which case they would replace him on the throne, and thereby free themselves from the oppressivetaxes imposed by Jehoiakim.13. Not only did Jehoiakim tax the people (2Ki 23:35) for Pharaoh's tribute, but also took theirforced labor, without pay, for building a splendid palace; in violation of Le 19:13; De 24:14, 15.Compare Mic 3:10; Hab 2:9; Jas 5:4. God will repay in justice those who will not in justice paythose whom they employ.14. wide—literally, "a house of dimensions" ("measures"). Compare Nu 13:32, Margin, "menof statures."large—rather, as Margin, "airy" from Hebrew root, "to breathe freely." Upper rooms in theEast are the principal apartments.cutteth him out windows—The Hebrew, if a noun, is rather, "my windows"; then the translationought to be, "and let my windows (Jehoiakim speaking) be cut out for it," that is, in the house; or,"and let (the workman) cut out my windows for it." But the word is rather an adjective; "he cuttethit (the house) out for himself, so as to be full of windows." The following words accord with thisconstruction, "and (he makes it) ceiled with cedar," &c. [Maurer]. Retaining English Version, theremust be understood something remarkable about the windows, since they are deemed worthy ofnotice. Gesenius thinks the word dual, "double windows," the blinds being two-leaved.vermilion—Hebrew, shashar, called so from a people of India beyond the Ganges, by whomit is exported [Pliny, 6.19]. The old vermilion was composed of sulphur and quicksilver; not of redlead, as our vermilion.15. closest thyself—rather, "thou viest," that is, art emulous to surpass thy forefathers in themagnificence of thy and drink—Did not Josiah, thy father, enjoy all that man really needs for his bodily wants?Did he need to build costly palaces to secure his throne? Nay, he did secure it by "judgment andjustice"; whereas thou, with all thy luxurious building, sittest on a tottering throne.then—on that account, therefore.16. was not this to know me—namely, to show by deeds that one knows God's will, as wasthe case with Josiah (compare Joh 13:17; contrast Tit 1:16).17. thine—as opposed to thy father, Josiah.18. Ah my brother! … sister!—addressing him with such titles of affection as one wouldaddress to a deceased friend beloved as a brother or sister (compare 1Ki 13:30). This expresses,They shall not lament him with the lamentation of private individuals [Vatablus], or of blood relatives[Grotius]: as "Ah! lord," expresses public lamentation in the case of a king [Vatablus], or that ofsubjects [Grotius]. Henderson thinks, "Ah! sister," refers to Jehoiakim's queen, who, though taken toBabylon and not left unburied on the way, as Jehoiakim, yet was not honored at her death withroyal lamentations, such as would have been poured forth over her at Jerusalem. He notices thebeauty of Jeremiah's manner in his prophecy against Jehoiakim. In Jer 22:13, 14 he describes himin general terms; then, in Jer 22:15-17, he directly addresses him without naming him; at last, inJer 22:18, he names him, but in the third person, to imply that God puts him to a distance fromHim. The boldness of the Hebrew prophets proves their divine mission; were it not so, their reproofsto the Hebrew kings, who held the throne by divine authority, would have been treason.Ah his glory!—"Alas! his majesty."1309JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson19. burial of an ass—that is, he shall have the same burial as an ass would get, namely, heshall be left a prey for beasts and birds [Jerome]. This is not formally narrated. But 2Ch 36:6 statesthat "Nebuchadnezzar bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon"; his treatment there is nowherementioned. The prophecy here, and in Jer 36:30, harmonizes these two facts. He was slain byNebuchadnezzar, who changed his purpose of taking him to Babylon, on the way thither, and lefthim unburied outside Jerusalem. 2Ki 24:6, "Jehoiakim slept with his fathers," does not contradictthis; it simply expresses his being gathered to his fathers by death, not his being buried with hisfathers (Ps 49:19). The two phrases are found together, as expressing two distinct ideas (2Ki 15:38;16:20).20. Delivered in the reign of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah or Coniah), son of Jehoiakim; appended tothe previous prophecy respecting Jehoiakim, on account of the similarity of the two prophecies.He calls on Jerusalem, personified as a mourning female, to go up to the highest points visible fromJerusalem, and lament there (see on Jer 3:21) the calamity of herself, bereft of allies and of herprinces, who are one after the other being cast down.Bashan—north of the region beyond Jordan; the mountains of Anti-libanus are referred to (Ps68:15).from the passages—namely, of the rivers (Jud 12:6); or else the borders of the country (1Sa13:23; Isa 10:29). The passes (1Sa 14:4). Maurer translates, "Abarim," a mountainous tract beyondJordan, opposite Jericho, and south of Bashan; this accords with the mention of the mountainsLebanon and Bashan (Nu 27:12; 33:47).lovers—the allies of Judea, especially Egypt, now unable to help the Jews, being crippled byBabylon (2Ki 24:7).21. I admonished thee in time. Thy sin has not been a sin of ignorance or thoughtlessness, butwilful.prosperity—given thee by Me; yet thou wouldest not hearken to the gracious Giver. TheHebrew is plural, to express, "In the height of thy prosperity"; so "droughts" (Isa 58:11).thou saidst—not in words, but in thy conduct, virtually.thy youth—from the time that I brought thee out of Egypt, and formed thee into a people (Jer7:25; 2:2; Isa 47:12).22. wind—the Chaldees, as a parching wind that sweeps over rapidly and withers vegetation(Jer 4:11, 12; Ps 103:16; Isa 40:7).eat up … pastors—that is, thy kings (Jer 2:8). There is a happy play on words. The pastors,whose office it is to feed the sheep, shall themselves be fed on. They who should drive the flockfrom place to place for pasture shall be driven into exile by the Chaldees.23. inhabitant of Lebanon—namely, Jerusalem, whose temple, palaces, and principal habitationswere built of cedars of gracious—irony. How graciously thou wilt be treated by the Chaldees, when they comeon thee suddenly, as pangs on a woman in travail (Jer 6:24)! Nay, all thy fine buildings will winno favor for thee from them. Maurer translates, "How shalt thou be to be pitied!"24. As I live—God's most solemn formula of oath (Jer 46:18; 4:2; De 32:40; 1Sa 25:34).Coniah—Jeconiah or Jehoiachin. The contraction of the name is meant in contempt.signet—Such ring seals were often of the greatest value (So 8:6; Hag 2:23). Jehoiachin'spopularity is probably here referred to.right hand—the hand most valued.1310JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI would pluck thee thence—(Compare Ob 4); on account of thy father's sins, as well as thineown (2Ch 36:9). There is a change here, as often in Hebrew poetry, from the third to the secondperson, to bring the threat more directly home to him. After a three months' and ten days' reign, theChaldees deposed him. In Babylon, however, by God's favor he was ultimately treated more kindlythan other royal captives (Jer 52:31-34). But none of his direct posterity ever came to the throne.25. give … into … hand—"I will pluck thee" from "my right hand," and "will give thee intothe hand of them that seek thy life."26. thy mother—Nehushta, the queen dowager (2Ki 24:6, 8, 15; see Jer 13:18).27. they—Coniah and his mother. He passes from the second person (Jer 22:26) to the thirdperson here, to express alienation. The king is as it were put out of sight, as if unworthy of beingspoken with directly.desire—literally, "lift up their soul" (Jer 44:14; Ps 24:4; 25:1). Judea was the land which theyin Babylon should pine after in vain.28. broken idol—Coniah was idolized once by the Jews; Jeremiah, therefore, in their person,expresses their astonishment at one from whom so much had been expected being now so utterlycast aside.vessel … no pleasure—(Ps 31:12; Ho 8:8). The answer to this is given (Ro 9:20-23; contrast2Ti 2:21).his seed—(See on Jer 22:29).29, 30. O earth! earth! earth!—Jeconiah was not actually without offspring (compare Jer22:28, "his seed"; 1Ch 3:17, 18; Mt 1:12), but he was to be "written childless," as a warning toposterity, that is, without a lineal heir to his throne. It is with a reference to the three kings, Shallum,Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah, that the earth is thrice invoked [Bengel]. Or, the triple invocation is to giveintensity to the call for attention to the announcement of the end of the royal line, so far asJehoiachin's seed is concerned. Though Messiah (Mt 1:1-17), the heir of David's throne, was lineallydescended from Jeconiah, it was only through Joseph, who, though His legal, was not His realfather. Matthew gives the legal pedigree through Solomon down to Joseph; Luke the real pedigree,from Mary, the real parent, through Nathan, brother of Solomon, upwards (Lu 3:31).no man of his seed … upon the throne—This explains the sense in which "childless" is used.Though the succession to the throne failed in his line, still the promise to David (Ps 89:30-37) wasrevived in Zerubbabel and consummated in Christ.CHAPTER 23Jer 23:1-40. The Wicked Rulers to Be Superseded by the King, Who Should Reign over the Again United Peoples,Israel and Judah.This forms the epilogue to the denunciations of the four kings, in Jer 21:1-22:30.1. pastors—Shallum, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah (Eze 34:2).2. Ye have not … visited them … I will visit upon you—just retribution. Play upon the doublesense of "visit." "Visit upon," namely, in wrath (Ex 32:34).3, 4. Restoration of Judah from Babylon foretold in language which in its fulness can only applyto the final restoration of both "Judah" and "Israel" (compare Jer 23:6); also "out of all countries,"in this verse and Jer 23:8; also, "neither shall they be lacking," that is, none shall be missing or1311JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondetached from the rest: a prophecy never yet fully accomplished. It holds good also of the spiritualIsrael, the elect of both Jews and Gentiles (Mal 3:16, 17; Joh 10:28; 17:12). As to the literal Israelalso, see Jer 32:37; Isa 54:13; 60:21; Eze 34:11-16.shepherds … shall feed them—(Jer 3:15; Eze 34:23-31). Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, andthe Maccabees were but typical of the consummating fulfilment of these prophecies under Messiah.5. As Messianic prophecy extended over many years in which many political changes tookplace in harmony with these, it displayed its riches by a variety more effective than if it had beenmanifested all at once. As the moral condition of the Jews required in each instance, so Messiahwas exhibited in a corresponding phase, thus becoming more and more the soul of the nation's life:so that He is represented as the antitypical Israel (Isa 49:3).unto David—Hengstenberg observes that Isaiah dwells more on His prophetical and priestlyoffice, which had already been partly set forth (De 18:18; Ps 110:4). Other prophets dwell moreon His kingly office. Therefore here He is associated with "David" the king: but in Isa 11:1 withthe then poor and unknown "Jesse."righteous Branch—"the Branch of righteousness" (Jer 33:15); "The Branch" simply (Zec 3:8;6:12); "The Branch of the Lord" (Isa 4:2).prosper—the very term applied to Messiah's undertaking (Isa 52:13, Margin; Isa 53:10).Righteousness or justice is the characteristic of Messiah elsewhere, too, in connection with oursalvation or justification (Isa 53:11; Da 9:24; Zec 9:9). So in the New Testament He is not merely"righteous" Himself, but "righteousness to us" (1Co 1:30), so that we become "the righteousnessof God in Him" (Ro 10:3, 4; 2Co 5:19-21; Php 3:9).execute judgment and justice in the earth—(Ps 72:2; Isa 9:7; 32:1, 18). Not merely a spiritualreign in the sense in which He is "our righteousness," but a righteous reign "in the earth" (Jer 3:17,18). In some passages He is said to come to judge, in others to reign. In Mt 25:34, He is called "theKing." Ps 9:7 unites them. Compare Da 7:22, 26, 27.6. Judah … Israel … dwell safely—Compare Jer 33:16, where "Jerusalem" is substituted for"Israel" here. Only Judah, and that only in part, has as yet returned. So far are the Jews from havingenjoyed, as yet, the temporal blessings here foretold as the result of Messiah's reign, that their lothas been, for eighteen centuries, worse than ever before. The accomplishment must, therefore, bestill future, when both Judah and Israel in their own land shall dwell safely under a Christocracy,far more privileged than even the old theocracy (Jer 32:37; De 33:28; Isa 54:1-17; 60:1-22; 65:17-25;Zec 14:11).shall be called, the Lord—that is, shall be (Isa 9:6) "Jehovah," God's incommunicable name.Though when applied to created things, it expresses only some peculiar connection they have withJehovah (Ge 22:14; Ex 17:15), yet when applied to Messiah it must express His Godhead manifestedin justifying power towards us (1Ti 3:16).our—marks His manhood, which is also implied in His being a Branch raised unto David,whence His human title, "Son of David" (compare Mt 22:42-45).Righteousness—marks His Godhead, for God alone can justify the ungodly (compare Ro 4:5;Isa 45:17, 24, 25).7, 8. Repeated from Jer 16:14, 15. The prophet said the same things often, in order that hissayings might make the more impression. The same promise as in Jer 23:3, 4. The wide dispersionof the Jews at the Babylonish captivity prefigures their present wider dispersion (Isa 11:11; Joe3:6). Their second deliverance is to exceed far the former one from Egypt. But the deliverance from1312JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonBabylon was inferior to that from Egypt in respect to the miracles performed and the numbersdelivered. The final deliverance under Messiah must, therefore, be meant, of which that fromBabylon was the earnest.9. because of the prophets—so the Masorites and Targum. But Vulgate, Septuagint, &c., makethis the inscription of the prophecy, Concerning the Prophets: as in Jer 46:2; 48:1; 49:1. Jeremiahexpresses his horror at the so-called "prophets" not warning the people, though iniquity so fearfullyabounded, soon to be followed by awful judgments.bones shake—(Hab 3:16).drunken—God's judgments are represented as stupefying like wine. The effects of the HolySpirit also are compared to those of wine (Ac 2:17). In both cases ecstasy was produced. Thisaccounts for the denial of wine to those likely to be inspired, Nazarites, &c. (Lu 1:15). It wasnecessary to put it out of men's power to ascribe inspired ecstasy to the effects of wine.because of … words of … holiness—because of Jehovah's holy words, wherewith He threatenedsevere penalties, soon to be inflicted, against the breakers of His law.10. adulterers—spiritual, that is, forsakers of God, Israel's true Husband (Isa 54:5) for idols,at the instigation of the false "prophets" (Jer 23:9, 15). Literal adultery and fornication, the usualconcomitants of idolatry, are also meant.swearing—Maurer, &c., translate, "Because of the curse (of God on it), the land mourneth" (De27:15-26; 28:15-68; Isa 24:6). More than usual notoriety had been given to the curses of the law,by the finding and reading of it in Josiah's time (2Ki 22:11, &c.). But Ho 4:2, 3, favors EnglishVersion (compare Jer 12:4). A drought was sent by God on the pastures ("pleasant places," oases)in the desert, on account of the "profaneness" of the priests, prophets, and people (Jer 23:11).course … evil—They (both prophets and people) rush into wickedness (Jer 23:21; Isa 59:7).force … not right—Their powers are used not on the side of rectitude, but on that of falsehood.11. profane—(Eze 23:39; Zep 3:4).in my house—(Jer 7:30). They built altars to idols in the very temple (2Ki 23:12; Eze 8:3-16).Compare as to covetousness under the roof of the sanctuary, Mt 21:13; Joh 2:16.12. slippery ways in … darkness—Their "way" is their false doctrine which proves fatal tothem (Jer 13:16; Ps 35:6; Pr 4:19).I will bring evil … visitation—still more calamities than those already inflicted. See on Jer11:23; "visitation," namely, in wrath.13. folly—literally, "insipidity," "unsavouriness" (Job 6:6), not having the salt of godliness(Col 4:6).in Baal—in the name of Baal; in connection with his worship (see Jer 2:8).caused … to err—(Isa 9:16).14. "Jerusalem" and Judah were even worse than "Samaria" and the ten tribes; the greater werethe privileges of the former, the greater was their guilt. They had the temple in their midst, whichthe ten tribes had not; yet in the temple itself they practised idolatry.strengthen … hands of evildoers—(Eze 13:22).as Sodom—(De 32:32; Isa 1:10).15. gall—poison (see on Jer 8:14; Jer 9:15).16. make you vain—They seduce you to vanity, that is, idolatry, which will prove a vain trustto you (Jer 2:5; 2Ki 17:15; Jon 2:8), [Gesenius]. Rather, "they delude you with vain promises ofsecurity" (Jer 23:17; compare Ps 62:10) [Maurer].1313JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof their own heart—of their own invention (Jer 23:21; Jer 14:14).17. say still—Hebrew, "say in saying," that is, say incessantly.peace—(Jer 6:14; Eze 13:10; Zec 10:2).imagination—Hebrew, "obstinacy."no evil—(Mic 3:11).18. A reason is given why the false prophets should not be heeded: They have not stood in thecounsels of Jehovah (an image from ministers present in a standing posture at councils of Easternkings) (compare Jer 23:22; Job 15:8). The spiritual man alone has the privilege (Ge 18:17; Ps 25:14;Am 3:7; Joh 15:15; 1Co 2:16).19. So far from all prosperity awaiting the people as the false prophets say (Jer 23:17), wrathis in store for them.grievous—literally, "eddying," whirling itself about, a tornado. In Jer 30:23, "continuing" issubstituted for "grievous."fall grievously—it shall be hurled on.20. in … latter days—that is, "the year of their visitation" (Jer 23:12). Primarily the meaningis: the Jews will not "consider" now God's warnings (De 32:29); but when the prophecies shall befulfilled in their Babylonish exile, they will consider and see, by bitter experience, their sinful folly.The ultimate scope of the prophecy is: the Jews, in their final dispersion, shall at last "consider"their sin and turn to Messiah "perfectly" (Ho 3:5; Zec 12:5, 10-14; Lu 13:35).21. sent … spoken—"sent" refers to the primary call: "spoken" to the subsequent chargesgiven to be executed. A call is required, not only external, on the part of men, but also internal fromGod, that one should undertake a pastor's office [Calvin].22. stood in … counsel—(Jer 23:18).they should have turned them from their evil way—They would have given such counselsto the people as would have turned them from their sins (Jer 25:5; Isa 55:11), and so would haveaverted punishment. Their not teaching the law in which God's counsel is set forth proves they arenot His prophets, though they boast of being so (Mt 7:15-20).23. Let not the false prophets fancy that their devices (Jer 23:25) are unknown to Me. Are yeso ignorant as to suppose that I can only see things near Me, namely, things in heaven, and notearthly things as being too remote?24. (Ps 139:7, &c.; Am 9:2, 3).fill heaven and earth—with My omniscience, providence, power, and essential being (1Ki8:27).25. dreamed—I have received a prophetic communication by dream (Nu 12:6; De 13:1, &c.Joe 2:28).26. prophets—a different Hebrew form from the usual one, "prophesiers." "How long," criesJeremiah, impatient of their impious audacity, "shall these prophecy-mongers go on prophesyinglies?" The answer is given in Jer 23:29-34.27. They "think" to make My people utterly to forget Me. But I will oppose to those dreamersmy true prophets.fathers … for Baal—(Jud 3:7; 8:33, 34).28. God answers the objection which might be stated, "What, then, must we do, when lies arespoken as truths, and prophets oppose prophets?" Do the same as when wheat is mixed with chaff:1314JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondo not reject the wheat because of the chaff mixed with it, but discriminate between the false andthe true revelations. The test is adherence to, or forgetfulness of, Me and My law (Jer 23:27).that hath a dream—that pretends to have a divine communication by dream, let him tell it"faithfully," that it may be compared with "my word" (2Co 4:2). The result will be the former (boththe prophets and their fictions) will soon be seen to be chaff; the latter (the true prophets and theword of God in their mouth) wheat (Ps 1:4; Ho 13:3).29. As the "fire" consumes the "chaff," [Jer 23:28], so "My word" will consume the falseprophets (Mt 3:12; Heb 4:12). "My word" which is "wheat" [Jer 23:28], that is, food to the trueprophet and his hearers, is a consuming "fire," and a crushing "hammer" (Mt 21:44) to false prophetsand their followers (2Co 2:16). The Word of the false prophets may be known by its promisingmen peace in sin. "My word," on the contrary, burns and breaks the hard-hearted (Jer 20:9). The"hammer" symbolizes destructive power (Jer 50:23; Na 2:1, Margin).30. steal my words—a twofold plagiarism; one steals from the other, and all steal words fromJehovah's true prophets, but misapply them (see Jer 28:2; Joh 10:1; Re 22:19).31. use—rather, "take" their tongue: a second class (compare Jer 23:30) require, in order tobring forth a revelation, nothing more than their tongues, wherewith they say, He (Jehovah) saith:they bungle in the very formula instead of the usual "Jehovah saith," being only able to say "(He)saith."32. Third class: inventors of lies: the climax, and worst of the three.lightness—wanton inventions (Zep 3:4).not profit—that is, greatly injure.33. What is the burden—play on the double sense of the Hebrew: an oracle and a burden.They scoffingly ask, Has he got any new burden (burdensome oracle: for all his prophecies aredisasters) to announce (Mal 1:1)? Jeremiah indignantly repeats their own question, Do you ask,What burden? This, then, it is, "I will forsake you." My word is burdensome in your eyes, and youlong to be rid if it. You shall get your wish. There will be no more prophecy: I will forsake you,and that will be a far worse "burden" to you.34. The burden—Whoever shall in mockery call the Lord's word "a burden," shall be visited(Margin) in wrath.35. The result of My judgments shall be, ye shall address the prophet more reverentially hereafter,no longer calling his message a burden, but a divine response or word. "What hath the Lordanswered?"36. every man's word … his burden—As they mockingly call all prophecies burdens, as ifcalamities were the sole subject of prophecy, so it shall prove to them. God will take them at theirown God—not lifeless as their dumb idols, ever living so as to be able to punish.39. I will … forget you—just retribution for their forgetting Him (Ho 4:6). But God cannotpossibly forget His children (Isa 49:15). Rather for "forget" translate, "I will altogether lift you up(like a 'burden,' alluding to their mocking term for God's messages) and cast you off." God makestheir wicked language fall on their own head [Calvin]. Compare Jer 23:36: "every man's word shallbe his burden."40. not be forgotten—If we translate Jer 23:39 as English Version, the antithesis is, though Iforget you, your shame shall not be forgotten.1315JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 24Jer 24:1-10. The Restoration of the Captives in Babylon and the Destruction of the Refractory Party in Judea andin Egypt, Represented under the Type of a Basket of Good, and One of Bad, Figs.1. Lord showed me—Am 7:1, 4, 7; 8:1, contains the same formula, with the addition of "thus"prefixed.carried … captive Jeconiah—(Jer 22:24; 2Ki 24:12, &c.; 2Ch 36:10).carpenters, &c.—One thousand artisans were carried to Babylon, both to work for the kingthere, and to deprive Jerusalem of their services in the event of a future siege (2Ki 24:16).2. figs … first ripe—the "boccora," or early fig (see on Isa 28:4). Baskets of figs used to beoffered as first-fruits in the temple. The good figs represent Jeconiah and the exiles in Babylon; thebad, Zedekiah and the obstinate Jews in Judea. They are called good and bad respectively, not inan absolute, but a comparative sense, and in reference to the punishment of the latter. This prophecywas designed to encourage the despairing exiles, and to reprove the people at home, who pridedthemselves as superior to those in Babylon and abused the forbearance of God (compare Jer52:31-34).5. acknowledge—regard with favor, like as thou lookest on the good figs favorably.for their good—Their removal to Babylon saved them from the calamities which befell therest of the nation and led them to repentance there: so God bettered their condition (2Ki 25:27-30).Daniel and Ezekiel were among these captives.6. (Jer 12:15).not pull … down … not pluck … up—only partially fulfilled in the restoration from Babylon;antitypically and fully to be fulfilled hereafter (Jer 32:41; 33:7).7. (Jer 30:22; 31:33; 32:38). Their conversion from idolatry to the one true God, through thechastening effect of the Babylonish captivity, is here expressed in language which, in its fulness,applies to the more complete conversion hereafter of the Jews, "with their whole heart" (Jer 29:13),through the painful discipline of their present dispersion. The source of their conversion is herestated to be God's prevenient grace.for they shall return—Repentance, though not the cause of pardon, is its invariableaccompaniment: it is the effect of God's giving a heart to know Him.8. in … Egypt—Many Jews had fled for refuge to Egypt, which was leagued with Judea againstBabylon.9. removed, &c.—(Jer 15:4). Calvin translates, "I will give them up to agitation, in all," &c.;This verse quotes the curse (De 28:25, 37). Compare Jer 29:18, 22; Ps 44:13, 14.CHAPTER 25Jer 25:1-38. Prophecy of the Seventy Years' Captivity; and after That the Destruction of Babylon, and of All theNations That Oppressed the Jews.1. fourth year of Jehoiakim—called the third year in Da 1:1. But probably Jehoiakim was seton the throne by Pharaoh-necho on his return from Carchemish about July, whereas Nebuchadnezzarmounted the throne January 21, 604 B.C.; so that Nebuchadnezzar's first year was partly the third,partly the fourth, of Jehoiakim's. Here first Jeremiah gives specific dates. Nebuchadnezzar hadpreviously entered Judea in the reign of his father Nabopolassar.1316JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. From the thirteenth year of Josiah, in which Jeremiah began to prophesy (Jer 1:1), to the endof Josiah's reign, was nineteen years (2Ki 22:1); the three months 2 Kings 23. 31) of Jehoahaz'reign, with the not quite complete four years of Jehoiakim (Jer 25:1), added to the nineteen years,make up twenty-three years in all.4. rising early—(See on Jer 7:13). "The prophets" refer to Urijah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, &c.It aggravates their sin, that God sent not merely one but many messengers, and those messengers,prophets; and, that during all those years specified, Jeremiah and his fellow prophets spared noeffort, late and early.5. Turn … dwell—In Hebrew there is expressed by sameness of sounds the correspondencebetween their turning to God and God's turning to them to permit them to dwell in their land: Shubu… shebu, "Return" … so shall ye "remain."every one from … evil—Each must separately repent and turn from his own sin. None isexcepted, lest they should think their guilt extenuated because the evil is general.6. He instances one sin, idolatry, as representative of all their sins; as nothing is dearer to Godthan a pure worship of Himself.7. Though ye provoke Me to anger (De 32:21), yet it is not I, but yourselves, whom ye therebyhurt (Pr 8:36; 20:2).9. the north—(see on Jer 1:14, 15). The Medes and other northern peoples, confederate withBabylon, are included with the servant—My agent for punishing (Jer 27:6; 43:10; compare Jer 40:2). Compare Isa 44:28;Cyrus, "My shepherd." God makes even unbelievers unconsciously to fulfil His designs. A reproofto the Jews, who boasted that they were the servants of God; yet a heathen king is to be more theservant of God than they, and that as the agent of their punishment.10. (Jer 7:34; Re 18:23). The land shall be so desolated that even in the houses left standingthere shall be no inhabitant; a terrible stillness shall prevail; no sound of the hand-mill (two circularstones, one above the other, for grinding corn, worked by two women, Ex 11:5; Mt 24:41; in dailyuse in every house, and therefore forbidden to be taken in pledge, De 24:6); no night-light, souniversal in the East that the poorest house has it, burning all night.candle—lamp (Job 21:17; 18:6).11. seventy years—(Jer 27:7). The exact number of years of Sabbaths in four hundred ninetyyears, the period from Saul to the Babylonian captivity; righteous retribution for their violation ofthe Sabbath (Le 26:34, 35; 2Ch 36:21). The seventy years probably begin from the fourth year ofJehoiakim, when Jerusalem was first captured, and many captives, as well as the treasures of thetemple, were carried away; they end with the first year of Cyrus, who, on taking Babylon, issuedan edict for the restoration of the Jews (Ezr 1:1). Daniel's seventy prophetic weeks are based on theseventy years of the captivity (compare Da 9:2, 24).13. all … written in this book, which Jeremiah … prophesied against all … nations—Itfollows from this, that the prophecies against foreign nations (forty-sixth through fifty-first chapters)must have been already written. Hence the Septuagint inserts here those prophecies. But if theyhad followed immediately (Jer 25:13), there would have been no propriety in the observation inthe verse. The very wording of the reference shows that they existed in some other part of the book,and not in the immediate context. It was in this very year, the fourth of Jehoiakim (Jer 36:1, 2), thatJeremiah was directed to write in a regular book for the first time all that he had prophesied againstJudah and foreign "nations" from the beginning of his ministry. Probably, at a subsequent time,1317JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhen he completed the whole work, including the forty-sixth through fifty-first chapters, Jeremiahhimself inserted the clause, "all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied againstall the nations." The prophecies in question may have been repeated, as others in Jeremiah, morethan once; so in the original smaller collection they may have stood in an earlier position; and, inthe fuller subsequent collection, in their later and present position.14. serve themselves—(Jer 27:7; 30:8; 34:10). Avail themselves of their services as slaves.them also—the Chaldees, who heretofore have made other nations their slaves, shall themselvesalso in their turn be slaves to them. Maurer translates, "shall impose servitude on them, even them."recompense them—namely, the Chaldees and other nations against whom Jeremiah hadprophesied (Jer 25:13), as having oppressed the Jews.their deeds—rather, "deed," namely, their bad treatment of the Jews (Jer 50:29; 51:6, 24;compare 2Ch 36:17).15. wine cup—Compare Jer 13:12, 13, as to this image, to express stupefying judgments; alsoJer 49:12; 51:7. Jeremiah often embodies the imagery of Isaiah in his prophecies (La 4:21; Isa51:17-22; Re 16:19; 18:6). The wine cup was not literally given by Jeremiah to the representativesof the different nations; but only in symbolical vision.16. be moved—reel (Na 3:11).18. Jerusalem—put first: for "judgment begins at the house of God"; they being most guiltywhose religious privileges are greatest (1Pe 4:17).kings—Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and it is this day—The accomplishment of the curse had already begun under Jehoiakim. Thisclause, however, may have been inserted by Jeremiah at his final revision of his prophecies inEgypt.19. Pharaoh—put next after Jerusalem, because the Jews had relied most on him, and Egyptand Judea stood on a common footing (Jer 46:2, 25).20. mingled people—mercenary foreign troops serving under Pharaoh-hophra in the time ofJeremiah. The employment of these foreigners provoked the native Egyptians to overthrow him.Psammetichus, father of Pharaoh-necho, also had given a settlement in Egypt to Ionian and Carianadventurers [Herodotus, 2.152, 154]. (Compare Jer 50:37; see on Isa 19:2, 3; Isa 20:1; Eze 30:5. Theterm is first found in Ex 12:38.Uz—in the geographical order here, between Egypt and the states along the Mediterranean;therefore not the "Uz" of Job 1:1 (north of Arabia-Deserta), but the northern part of Arabia-Petræa,between the sea and Idumea (La 4:21; see Ge 36:20, 28).remnant of Ashdod—called a "remnant," because Ashdod had lost most of its inhabitants inthe twenty-nine years siege by Psammetichus. Compare also see on Isa 20:1. Gath is not mentionedbecause it was overthrown in the same war.21. Edom … Moab … Ammon—joined together, as being related to Israel (see Jer 48:1-49:39).22. all the kings of Tyrus—the petty kings of the various dependencies of Tyre.isles—a term including all maritime regions (Ps 72:10).23. Dedan—north of Arabia (Ge 25:3, 4).Tema … Buz—neighboring tribes north of Arabia (Job 32:2).all … in … utmost corners—rather, "having the hair cut in angles," a heathenish custom (seeon Jer 9:26).1318JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson24. mingled people—not in the same sense as in Jer 25:20; the "motley crowd," so called incontempt (compare Jer 49:28, 31; 50:37). By a different pointing it may be translated the "Arabs";but the repetition of the name is not likely. Blaney thinks there were two divisions of what we callArabia, the west (Araba) and the east. The west included Arabia-Petræa and the parts on the seabordering on Egypt, the land of Cush; the east, Arabia-Felix and Deserta. The latter are "the mixedrace" inhabiting the desert.25. Zimri—perhaps the Zabra mentioned by Ptolemy between Mecca and Medina. Zimran also,as Dedan, was one of Abraham's sons by Keturah (Ge 25:2).Elam—properly, west of Persia; but used for Persia in general.26. Sheshach—Babylon; as the parallelism in Jer 51:41 proves. In the Cabalistic system (calledAthbash, the first Hebrew letter in the alphabet being expressed by the last) Sheshach would exactlyanswer to Babel. Jeremiah may have used this system (as perhaps in Jer 51:41) for concealment atthe time of this prediction, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, while Nebuchadnezzar was beforeJerusalem. In Jer 51:41 there can be no concealment, as Babylon is expressly mentioned. Michaelismore simply explains the term "brazen-gated" (compare Isa 45:2); others, "the house of a prince."Rather, it comes from the Babylonian goddess, Shach, by reduplication of the first letter; from herMisael was named Meshach by the Babylonians. The term Shace was applied to a festival atBabylon, alluded to in Jer 51:39, 57; Isa 21:5. It was during this feast that Cyrus took Babylon[Herodotus, 1]. Thus Jeremiah mystically denotes the time of its capture by this term [Glassius].27. rise no more—The heathen nations in question should fall to rise no more. The Jews shouldfall but for a time, and then rise again. Therefore, the epithet is given, "the God of Israel."28. if they refuse to take the cup—No effort of theirs to escape destruction will avail.29. If I spared not Mine elect people on account of sin, much less will I spare you (Eze 9:6; Ob16; Lu 23:31; 1Pe 4:17).be unpunished—"be treated as innocent."30. roar—image from a destructive lion (Isa 42:13; Joe 3:16).upon his habitation—rather, "His pasturage"; keeping up the image of a lion roaring againstthe flock in the pasture. The roar was first to go forth over Judea wherein were "the sheep of Hispasture" (Ps 100:3), and thence into heathen lands.shout … tread … grapes—(Jer 48:33; Isa 16:9, 10).31. controversy—cause at issue (Mic 6:2).plead with all flesh—(Isa 66:16). God shows the whole world that He does what is altogetherjust in punishing.32. from the coasts—rather, "from the uttermost regions." Like a storm which arises in oneregion and then diffuses itself far and wide, so God's judgments shall pass "from nation to nation,"till all has been fulfilled; no distance shall prevent the fulfilment.not be lamented—(Jer 16:4, 6).neither gathered—to their fathers, in their ancestral tombs (Jer 8:2).dung—(Ps 83:10).34. shepherds—princes (Jer 22:22). Here he returns to the Jews and their rulers, using the sameimage as in Jer 25:30, "pasture" (see on Jer 25:30).wallow yourselves—Cover yourselves as thickly with ashes, in token of sorrow, as one whorolls in them (Jer 6:26; Eze 27:30) [Maurer].1319JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprincipal—leaders. The Septuagint translates "rams," carrying out the image (compare Isa14:9, Margin; Zec 10:3).days of your slaughter … of … dispersions—rather, "your days for slaughter (that is, the timeof your being slain), and your dispersions (not 'of your dispersions'), are accomplished (are come)."pleasant vessel—Ye were once a precious vessel, but ye shall fall, and so be a broken vessel(see on Jer 22:28). "Your past excellency shall not render you safe now. I will turn to your ignominywhatever glory I conferred on you" [Calvin].35. Literally, "Flight shall fail the shepherds … escaping (shall fail) the principal," &c. (Am2:14). The leaders will be the first objects for slaughter; escape by flight will be out of their power.37. habitations—rather, carrying out the image "pastures" (see on Jer 25:30). The pasturageswhere, peaceably and without incursion of wild beasts, the flocks have fed, shall be destroyed; thatis, the regions where, heretofore, there was peace and security (alluding to the name Salem, orJerusalem, "possessing peace").38. his covert—the temple, where heretofore, like a lion, as its defender, by the mere terror ofHis voice He warded off the foe; but now He leaves it a prey to the Gentiles [Calvin].fierceness of … oppressor—rather, as the Hebrew, for "oppressor" is an adjective feminine,the word "sword" is understood, which, in Jer 46:16; 50:16, is expressed (indeed, some manuscriptsand the Septuagint read "sword" instead of "fierceness" here; probably interpolated from Jer 46:16),"the oppressing sword." The Hebrew for "oppressing" means also a "dove": there may be, therefore,a covert allusion to the Chaldean standard bearing a dove on it, in honor of Semiramis, the firstqueen, said in popular superstition to have been nourished by doves when exposed at birth, and atdeath to have been transformed into a dove. Her name may come from a root referring to the cooingof a dove. That bird was held sacred to the goddess Venus. Vulgate so translates "the anger of thedove."his … anger—If the anger of Nebuchadnezzar cannot be evaded, how much less that of God(compare Jer 25:37)!CHAPTER 26Jer 26:1-24. Jeremiah Declared Worthy of Death, but by the Interposition of Ahikam Saved; the Similar Cases ofMicah and Urijah Being Adduced in the Prophet's Favor.The prophecies which gave the offense were those given in detail in the seventh, eighth, andninth chapters (compare Jer 26:6 here with Jer 7:12, 14); and summarily referred to here [Maurer],probably pronounced at one of the great feasts (that of tabernacles, according to Ussher; for theinhabitants of "all the cities of Judah" are represented as present, Jer 26:2). See on Jer 7:1.2. in the court—the largest court, from which he could be heard by the whole people.come to worship—Worship is vain without obedience (1Sa 15:21, 22).all the words—(Eze 3:10).diminish not a word—(De 4:2; 12:32; Pr 30:6; Ac 20:27; 2Co 2:17; 4:2; Re 22:19). Notsuppressing or softening aught for fear of giving offense; nor setting forth coldly and indirectlywhat can only by forcible statement do good.1320JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. if so be—expressed according to human conceptions; not as if God did not foreknow allcontingencies, but to mark the obstinacy of the people and the difficulty of healing them; and toshow His own goodness in making the offer which left them without excuse [Calvin].5. prophets—the inspired interpreters of the law (Jer 26:4), who adapted it to the use of thepeople.6. like Shiloh—(see on Jer 7:12, 14; 1Sa 4:10-12; Ps 78:60).curse—(Jer 24:9; Isa 65:15).8. priests—The captain (or prefect) of the temple had the power of apprehending offenders inthe temple with the sanction of the priests.prophets—the false prophets. The charge against Jeremiah was that of uttering falsehood inJehovah's name, an act punishable with death (De 18:20). His prophecy against the temple and city(Jer 26:11) might speciously be represented as contradicting God's own words (Ps 132:14). Comparethe similar charge against Stephen (Ac 6:13, 14).10. princes—members of the Council of State or Great Council, which took cognizance ofsuch offenses.heard—the clamor of the popular tumult.came up—from the king's house to the temple, which stood higher than the palace.sat—as judges, in the gate, the usual place of trying such gate—originally built by Jotham ("the higher gate," 2Ki 15:35) and now recently restored.12. Lord sent me—a valid justification against any laws alleged against him.against … against—rather, "concerning." Jeremiah purposely avoids saying, "against," whichwould needlessly irritate. They had used the same Hebrew word (Jer 26:11), which ought to betranslated "concerning," though they meant it in the unfavorable sense. Jeremiah takes up theirword in a better sense, implying that there is still room for repentance: that his prophecies aim atthe real good of the city; for or concerning this house … city [Grotius].13. (Jer 26:3, 19).14. Jeremiah's humility is herein shown, and submission to the powers that be (Ro 13:1).15. bring … upon yourselves—So far will you be from escaping the predicted evils by sheddingmy blood, that you will, by that very act, only incur heavier penalties (Mt 23:35).16. princes … all the people—The fickle people, as they were previously influenced by thepriests to clamor for his death (Jer 26:8), so now under the princes' influence require that he shallnot be put to death. Compare as to Jesus, Jeremiah's antitype, the hosannas of the multitude a fewdays before the same people, persuaded by the priests as in this case, cried, Away with Him, crucifyHim (Mt 21:1-11; 27:20-25). The priests, through envy of his holy zeal, were more his enemiesthan the princes, whose office was more secular than religious. A prophet could not legally be putto death unless he prophesied in the name of other gods (therefore, they say, "in the name of theLord"), or after his prophecy had failed in its accomplishment. Meanwhile, if he foretold calamity,he might be imprisoned. Compare Micaiah's case (1Ki 22:1-28).17. Compare Gamaliel's interposition (Ac 5:34, &c.).elders—some of the "princes" mentioned (Jer 26:16) those whose age, as well as dignity, wouldgive weight to the precedents of past times which they adduce.18. (Mic 3:12).Morasthite—called so from a village of the tribe Judah.1321JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHezekiah—The precedent in the reign of such a good king proved that Jeremiah was not theonly prophet, or the first, who threatened the city and the temple without incurring death.mountain of the house—Moriah, on which stood the temple (peculiarly called "the house")shall be covered with woods instead of buildings. Jeremiah, in quoting previous prophecies, neverdoes so without alteration; he adapts the language to his own style, showing thereby his authorityin his treatment of Scripture, as being himself inspired.19. Hezekiah, so far from killing him, was led "to fear the Lord," and pray for remission of thesentence against Judah (2Ch 32:26).Lord repented—(Ex 32:14; 2Sa 24:16).Thus—if we kill Jeremiah.20. As the flight and capture of Urijah must have occupied some time, "the beginning of thereign of Jehoiakim" (Jer 26:1) must not mean the very beginning, but the second or third year ofhis eleven years' reign.And … also—perhaps connected with Jer 26:24, as the comment of the writer, not thecontinuation of the speech of the elders: "And although also a man that prophesied … Urijah …(proving how great was the danger in which Jeremiah stood, and how wonderful the providenceof God in preserving him), nevertheless the hand of Ahikam," &c. [Glassius]. The context, however,implies rather that the words are the continuation of the previous speech of the elders. They adduceanother instance besides that of Micah, though of a different kind, namely, that of Urijah: he sufferedfor his prophecies, but they imply, though they do not venture to express it, that thereby sin hasbeen added to sin, and that it has done no good to Jehoiakim, for that the notorious condition ofthe state at this time shows that a heavier vengeance is impending if they persevere in such acts ofviolence [Calvin].22. Jehoiakim sent … into Egypt—He had been put on the throne by Pharaoh of Egypt (2Ki23:34). This explains the readiness with which he got the Egyptians to give up Urijah to him, whenthat prophet had sought an asylum in Egypt. Urijah was faithful in delivering his message, butfaulty in leaving his work, so God permitted him to lose his life, while Jeremiah was protected indanger. The path of duty is often the path of safety.23. graves of the common people—literally, "sons of the people" (compare 2Ki 23:6). Theprophets seem to have had a separate cemetery (Mt 23:29). Urijah's corpse was denied this honor,in order that he should not be regarded as a true prophet.24. Ahikam—son of Shaphan the scribe, or royal secretary. He was one of those whom KingJosiah, when struck by the words of the book of the law, sent to inquire of the Lord (2Ki 22:12,14). Hence his interference here in behalf of Jeremiah is what we should expect from his pastassociation with that good king. His son, Gedaliah, followed in his father's steps, so that he waschosen by the Babylonians as the one to whom they committed Jeremiah for safety after takingJerusalem, and on whose loyalty they could depend in setting him over the remnant of the peoplein Judea (Jer 39:14; 2Ki 25:22).people to put him to death—Princes often, when they want to destroy a good man, prefer itto be done by a popular tumult rather than by their own order, so as to reap the fruit of the crimewithout odium to themselves (Mt 27:20).1322JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 27Jer 27:1-22. The Futility of Resisting Nebuchadnezzar Illustrated to the Ambassadors of the Kings, Desiring toHave the King of Judah Confederate with Them, under the Type of Yokes. Jeremiah Exhorts Them and Zedekiah to Yield.1. Jehoiakim—The prophecy that follows was according to this reading given in the fourthyear of Jehoiakim, fifteen years before it was published in the reign of Zedekiah to whom it refers;it was thus long deposited in the prophet's bosom, in order that by it he might be supported undertrials in his prophetic career in the interim [Calvin]. But "Zedekiah" may be the true reading. So theSyriac and Arabic Versions. Jer 27:3, 12; Jer 28:1, confirm this; also, one of Kennicott's manuscripts.The English Version reading may have originated from Jer 26:1. "Son of Josiah" applies to Zedekiahas truly as to "Jehoiakim" or "Eliakim." The fourth year may, in a general sense here, as in Jer 28:1,be called "the beginning of his reign," as it lasted eleven years (2Ki 24:18). It was not long afterthe fourth year of his reign that he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 51:59; 52:3; 2Ki 24:20),in violation of an oath before God (2Ch 36:13).2. bonds—by which the yoke is made fast to the neck (Jer 5:5).yokes—literally, the carved piece of wood attached at both ends to the two yokes on the necksof a pair of oxen, so as to connect them. Here the yoke itself. The plural is used, as he was to wearone himself, and give the others to the ambassadors; (Jer 27:3; 28:10, 12) proves that the symbolicalact was in this instance (though not in others, Jer 25:15) actually done (compare Isa 20:2, &c.; Eze12:3, 11, 18).3. And send them to the king of Edom, &c.—Appropriate symbol, as these ambassadors hadcome to Jerusalem to consult as to shaking off the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. According to Pherecydesin Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 567], Idanthura, king of the Scythians, intimated to Darius,who had crossed the Danube, that he would lead an army against him, by sending him, instead ofa letter, a mouse, a frog, a bird, an arrow, and a plough. The task assigned to Jeremiah requiredgreat faith, as it was sure to provoke alike his own countrymen and the foreign ambassadors andtheir kings, by a seeming insult, at the very time that all were full of confident hopes grounded onthe confederacy.5. God here, as elsewhere, connects with the symbol doctrine, which is as it were its soul,without which it would be not only cold and frivolous, but even dead [Calvin]. God's mention ofHis supreme power is in order to refute the pride of those who rely on their own power (Isa 45:12).given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me—(Ps 115:15, 16; Da 4:17, 25, 32). Not for hismerits, but of My own sole good pleasure [Estius].6. beasts of the field—not merely the horses to carry his Chaldean soldiers, and oxen to drawhis provisions [Grotius]; not merely the deserts, mountains, and woods, the haunts of wild beasts,implying his unlimited extent of empire [Estius]; but the beasts themselves by a mysterious instinctof nature. A reproof to men that they did not recognize God's will, which the very beastsacknowledged (compare Isa 1:3). As the beasts are to submit to Christ, the Restorer of the dominionover nature, lost by the first Adam (compare Ge 1:28; 2:19, 20; Ps 8:6-8), so they were appointedto submit to Nebuchadnezzar, the representative of the world power and prefigurer of Antichrist;this universal power was suffered to be held by him to show the unfitness of any to wield it "untilHe come whose right it is" (Eze 21:27).7. son … son's son—(2Ch 36:20). Nebuchadnezzar had four successors—Evil-merodach, hisson; Neriglissar, husband of Nebuchadnezzar's daughter; his son, Labosodarchod; and Naboned(with whom his son, Belshazzar, was joint king), son of Evil-merodach. But Neriglissar and1323JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonLabosodarchod were not in the direct male line; so that the prophecy held good to "his son and hisson's son," and the intermediate two are omitted.time of his land—that is, of its subjugation or its being "visited" in wrath (Jer 27:22; Jer 25:12;29:10; 50:27; Da 5:26).serve themselves of him—make him their servant (Jer 25:14; Isa 13:22). So "his day" for thedestined day of his calamity (Job 18:20).8. until I have consumed them by his hand—until by these consuming visitations I havebrought them under his power.9. ye—the Jews especially, for whom the address to the rest was intended.enchanters—augurs [Calvin], from a root, the "eyes," that is, lookers at the stars and other meansof taking omens of futurity; or another root, a "fixed time," observers of times: forbidden in thelaw (Le 19:26; De 18:10, 11, 14).10. to remove you—expressing the event which would result. The very thing they profess bytheir enchantments to avert, they are by them bringing on you. Better to submit to Nebuchadnezzar,and remain in your land, than to rebel, and be removed from it.11. serve … till it—The same Hebrew root expresses "serve" and "till," or "cultivate." Serveye the king of Babylon, and the land will serve you [Calvin].12. I spake also—translate, "And I spake," &c. Special application of the subject to Zedekiah.13. Why … die—by running on your own ruin in resisting Nebuchadnezzar after this warning(Eze 18:31).14. lie—(Jer 14:14).15. in my name—The devil often makes God's name the plea for lies (Mt 4:6; 7:22, 23; Jer27:15-20, the test whereby to know false prophets).16. The "vessels" had been carried away to Babylon in the reign of Jeconiah (2Ki 24:13); alsopreviously in that of Jehoiakim (2Ch 36:5-7).18. at Jerusalem—that is, in other houses containing such vessels, besides the house of Godand the king's palace. Nebuzara-dan, captain of the guard under Nebuchadnezzar, carried all away(2Ki 25:13-17; 2Ch 36:18). The more costly vessels had been previously removed in the reigns ofJehoiakim and Jeconiah.19. (Jer 52:17, 20, 21).22. until … I visit them—in wrath by Cyrus (Jer 32:5). In seventy years from the first carryingaway of captives in Jehoiachin's reign (Jer 29:10; 2Ch 36:21).restore them—by the hand of Cyrus (Ezr 1:7). By Artaxerxes (Ezr 7:19).CHAPTER 28Jer 28:1-17. Prophecies Immediately Following Those in the Twenty-seventh Chapter. Hananiah Breaks the Yokesto Signify that Nebuchadnezzar's Yoke Shall Be Broken. Jeremiah Foretells that Yokes of Iron Are to Succeed Those ofWood, and that Hananiah Shall Die.1. in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah—The Jews often divided any period into twohalves, the beginning and the end. As Zedekiah reigned eleven years, the fourth year would becalled the beginning of his reign, especially as during the first three years affairs were in such a1324JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondisturbed state that he had little power or dignity, being a tributary; but in the fourth year he becamestrong in power.Hananiah—Another of this name was one of the three godly youths who bravedNebuchadnezzar's wrath in the fear of God (Da 1:6, 7; 3:12). Probably a near relation, for Azariahis associated with him; as Azur with the Hananiah here. The godly and ungodly are often in thesame family (Eze 18:14-20).Gibeon—one of the cities of the priests, to which order he must have belonged.2. broken the yoke—I have determined to break: referring to Jeremiah's prophecy (Jer 27:12).3. two full years—literally, "years of days." So "a month of days," that is, all its days complete(Ge 29:14, Margin; Ge 41:1). It was marvellous presumption to speak so definitely without havingany divine revelation.4. bring again … Jeconiah—not necessarily implying that Hananiah wished Zedekiah to besuperseded by Jeconiah. The main point intended was that the restoration from Babylon should becomplete. But, doubtless, the false prophet foretold Jeconiah's return (2Ki 24:12-15), to ingratiatehimself with the populace, with whom Jeconiah was a favorite (see on Jer 22:24).5. the prophet Jeremiah—the epithet, "the prophet," is prefixed to "Jeremiah" throughout thischapter, to correspond to the same epithet before "Hananiah"; except in Jer 28:12, where "theprophet" has been inserted in English Version. The rival claims of the true and the false prophetare thus put in the more prominent contrast.6. Amen—Jeremiah prays for the people, though constrained to prophesy against them (1Ki1:36). The event was the appointed test between contradictory predictions (De 18:21, 22). "Wouldthat what you say were true!" I prefer the safety of my country even to my own estimation. Theprophets had no pleasure in announcing God's judgment, but did so as a matter of stern duty, notthereby divesting themselves of their natural feelings of sorrow for their country's woe. CompareEx 32:32; Ro 9:3, as instances of how God's servants, intent only on the glory of God and thesalvation of the country, forgot self and uttered wishes in a state of feeling transported out ofthemselves. So Jeremiah wished not to diminish aught from the word of God, though as a Jew heuttered the wish for his people [Calvin].8. prophets … before me—Hosea, Joel, Amos, and others.evil—a few manuscripts, read "famine," which is more usually associated with the specificationof war and pestilence (Jer 15:2; 18:21; 27:8, 13). But evil here includes all the calamities flowingfrom war, not merely famine, but also desolation, &c. Evil, being the more difficult reading, is lesslikely to be the interpolated one than famine, which probably originated in copying the parallelpassages.9. peace—Hananiah had given no warning as to the need of conversion, but had foretoldprosperity unconditionally. Jeremiah does not say that all are true prophets who foretell truths inany instance (which De 13:1, 2, disproves); but asserts only the converse, namely, that whoever,as Hananiah, predicts what the event does not confirm, is a false prophet. There are two tests ofprophets: (1) The event, De 18:22. (2) The word of God, Isa 8:20.10. the yoke—(Jer 27:2). Impious audacity to break what God had appointed as a solemn pledgeof the fulfilment of His word. Hence Jeremiah deigns no reply (Jer 28:11; Mt 7:6).11. neck of all nations—opposed to Jer 27:7.13. Thou hast broken … wood … thou shalt make … iron—Not here, "Thou hast broken… wood," and "I will make … iron" (compare Jer 28:16). The same false prophets who, by urging1325JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe Jews to rebel, had caused them to throw off the then comparatively easy yoke of Babylon,thereby brought on them a more severe yoke imposed by that city. "Yokes of iron," alluding to De28:48. It is better to take up a light cross in our way, than to pull a heavier on our own heads. Wemay escape destroying providences by submitting to humbling providences. So, spiritually, contrastthe "easy yoke" of Christ with the "yoke of bondage" of the law (Ac 15:10; Ga 5:1).14. I have put—Though Hananiah and those like him were secondary instruments in bringingthe iron yoke on Judea, God was the great First Cause (Jer 27:4-7).15. makest … trust in a lie—(Jer 29:31; Eze 13:22).16. this year … die—The prediction was uttered in the fifth month (Jer 28:1); Hananiah's deathtook place in the seventh month, that is, within two months after the prediction, answering withawful significance to the two years in which Hananiah had foretold that the yoke imposed byBabylon would end.rebellion—opposition to God's plain direction, that all should submit to Babylon (Jer 29:32).CHAPTER 29Jer 29:1-32. Letter of Jeremiah to the Captives in Babylon, to Counteract the Assurances Given by the False Prophetsof a Speedy Restoration.1. residue of the elders—those still surviving from the time when they were carried to Babylonwith Jeconiah; the other elders of the captives had died by either a natural or a violent death.2. queen—Nehushta, the queen mother, daughter of Elnathan (2Ki 24:8, 15). (Elnathan, herfather, is perhaps the same as the one mentioned in Jer 26:22). She reigned jointly with her son.princes—All the men of authority were taken away lest they should organize a rebellion.Jeremiah wrote his letter while the calamity was still recent, to console the captives under it.3. Zedekiah … sent unto Babylon—In Jer 51:59, Zedekiah himself goes to Babylon; here hesends ambassadors. Whatever was the object of the embassy, it shows that Zedekiah only reignedat the pleasure of the king of Babylon, who might have restored Jeconiah, had he pleased. Hence,Zedekiah permitted Jeremiah's letter to be sent, not only as being led by Hananiah's death to attachgreater credit to the prophet's words, but also as the letter accorded with his own wish that the Jewsshould remain in Chaldea till Jeconiah's death.Hilkiah—the high priest who found the book of the law in the house of the Lord, and showedit to "Shaphan" the scribe (the same Shaphan probably as here), who showed it to King Josiah (2Ki22:8, &c.). The sons of Hilkiah and Shaphan inherited from their fathers some respect for sacredthings. So in Jer 36:25, "Gemariah" interceded with King Jehoiakim that the prophet's roll shouldnot be burned.5. Build … houses—In opposition to the false prophets' suggestions, who told the captives thattheir captivity would soon cease, Jeremiah tells them that it will be of long duration, and thattherefore they should build houses, as Babylon is to be for long their home.6. that ye … be … not diminished—It was God's will that the seed of Abraham should notfail; thus consolation is given them, and the hope, though not of an immediate, yet of an ultimate,return.7. (Ezr 6:10; Ro 13:1; 1Ti 2:2). Not only bear the Babylonian yoke patiently, but pray for yourmasters, that is, while the captivity lasts. God's good time was to come when they were to pray for1326JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonBabylon's downfall (Jer 51:35; Ps 137:8). They were not to forestall that time. True religion teachespatient submission, not sedition, even though the prince be an unbeliever. In all states of life let usnot throw away the comfort we may have, because we have not all we would have. There is herea foretaste of gospel love towards enemies (Mt 5:44).8. your dreams which ye caused to be dreamed—The Latin adage says, "The people wishto be deceived, so let them be deceived." Not mere credulity misleads men, but their own perverse"love of darkness rather than light." It was not priests who originated priestcraft, but the people'sown morbid appetite to be deceived; for example, Aaron and the golden calf (Ex 32:1-4). So theJews caused or made the prophets to tell them encouraging dreams (Jer 23:25, 26; Ec 5:7; Zec 10:2;Joh 3:19-21).10. (See on Jer 25:11; Jer 25:12; Da 9:2). This proves that the seventy years date from Jeconiah'scaptivity, not from the last captivity. The specification of time was to curb the impatience of theJews lest they should hasten before God's time.good word—promise of a return.11. I know—I alone; not the false prophets who know nothing of My purposes, though theypretend to know.thoughts … I think—(Isa 55:9). Glancing at the Jews who had no "thoughts of peace," butonly of "evil" (misfortune), because they could not conceive how deliverance could come to them.The moral malady of man is twofold—at one time vain confidence; then, when that is disappointed,despair. So the Jews first laughed at God's threats, confident that they should speedily return; then,when cast down from that confidence, they sank in inconsolable despondency.expected end—literally, "end and expectation," that is, an end, and that such an end as youwish for. Two nouns joined by "and," standing for a noun and adjective. So in Jer 36:27, "the rolland the words," that is, the roll of words; Ge 3:16, "sorrow and conception," that is, sorrow inconception. Compare Pr 23:18, where, as here "end" means "a happy issue."12. Fulfilled (Da 9:3, &c.). When God designs mercy, He puts it into the hearts of His peopleto pray for the mercy designed. When such a spirit of prayer is poured out, it is a sure sign of comingmercy.go—to the temple and other places of prayer: contrasted with their previous sloth as to goingto seek God.13. (Le 26:40-42, 44, 45).14. to be found—(Ps 32:6; Isa 55:6).turn … captivity—play upon sounds, shabti … shebith.15. Because—referring not to the preceding words, but to Jer 29:10, 11, "Jehovah saith this toyou" (that is, the prophecy of the continuance of the captivity seventy years), "because ye havesaid, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon," namely, foretelling our speedy deliverance(this their prophecy is supposed, not expressed; accordingly, Jer 29:16-19 contradict this false hopeagain, Jer 29:8, 9, 21). He, in this fifteenth verse, turns his address from the godly (Jer 29:12-14)to the ungodly listeners, to false prophets.16. people … in this city … not gone forth—So far from your returning to Jerusalem soon,even your brethren still left dwelling there shall themselves also be cast into exile. He mentions"the throne of David," lest they should think that, because David's kingdom was to be perpetual,no severe, though temporary, chastisements could interpose (Ps 89:29-36).1327JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. vile figs—Hebrew, "horrible," or nauseous, from a root, "to regard with loathing" (see Jer24:8, 10).18. removed to all … kingdoms—(Jer 15:4; De 28:25).curse, &c.—(Jer 29:6; 18:16; 19:8).21. Zedekiah—brother of Zephaniah (Jer 29:25), both being sons of Maaseiah; probably ofthe same family as the false prophet under Ahab in Israel (1Ki 22:11, 24).22. shall be taken … a curse—that is, a formula of imprecation.Lord make thee like Zedekiah—(Compare Ge 48:20; Isa 65:15).roasted in the fire—a Chaldean punishment (Da 3:6).23. villainy—literally, "sinful folly" (Isa 32:6).24-32. A second communication which Jeremiah sent to Babylon, after the messenger whocarried his first letter had brought a letter from the false prophet Shemaiah to Zephaniah, &c.,condemning Jeremiah and reproving the authorities for not having apprehended him.Nehelamite—a name derived either from his father or from a place: alluding at the same timeto the Hebrew meaning, "a dreamer" (compare Jer 29:8).25. in thy name—without sanction of "the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel," which words standin antithesis to "thy name" (Joh 5:43).Zephaniah—the second priest, or substitute (Sagan) of the high priest. He was one of thosesent to consult Jeremiah by Zedekiah (Jer 21:1). Slain by Nebuchadnezzar at the capture of Jerusalem(2Ki 25:18-21). Zephaniah was in particular addressed, as being likely to take up against Jeremiahthe prophet's prediction against his brother Zedekiah at Babylon (Jer 29:21). Zephaniah was to readit to the priests, and in the presence of all the people, in the temple.26. thee … in the stead of Jehoiada—Zephaniah's promotion as second priest, owing toJehoiada's being then in exile, was unexpected. Shemaiah thus accuses him of ingratitude towardsGod, who had so highly exalted him before his regular should be officers … for every man—Ye should, as bearing rule in the temple (see on Jer20:1), apprehend every false prophet like Jeremiah.mad—Inspired prophets were often so called by the ungodly (2Ki 9:11; Ac 26:24; 2:13, 15,17, 18). Jeremiah is in this a type of Christ, against whom the same charge was brought (Joh 10:20).prison—rather, "the stocks" (see on Jer 20:2).stocks—from a root, "to confine"; hence rather, "a narrow dungeon." According to De 17:8, 9,the priest was judge in such cases, but had no right to put into the stocks; this right he had assumedto himself in the troubled state of the times.27. of Anathoth—said contemptuously, as "Jesus of Nazareth."maketh himself—as if God had not made him one, but he himself had done so.28. Referring to Jeremiah's first letter to Babylon (Jer 29:5).29. Zephaniah … read … in the ears of Jeremiah—He seems to have been less prejudicedagainst Jeremiah than the others; hence he reads the charge to the prophet, that he should not becondemned without a hearing. This accords with Shemaiah's imputation against Zephaniah forwant of zeal against Jeremiah (Jer 29:26, 27). Hence the latter was chosen by King Zedekiah asone of the deputation to Jeremiah (Jer 21:1; 37:3).30. This resumes the thread of the sentence which began at Jer 29:25, but was left there notcompleted. Here, in this thirtieth verse, it is completed, not however in continuity, but by a newperiod. The same construction occurs in Ro 5:12-15.1328JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson32. not … a man to dwell—(De 28:18).not … behold the good—As he despised the lawful time and wished to return before the timeGod had expressly announced, in just retribution he should not share in the restoration from Babylonat all.rebellion—going against God's revealed will as to the time (Jer 28:16).CHAPTER 30Jer 30:1-24. Restoration of the Jews from Babylon after Its Capture, and Raising Up of Messiah.2. Write … in a book—After the destruction of Jerusalem Jeremiah is not ordered as heretoforeto speak, but to write the succeeding prophecy (Jer 30:4, &c.), so as thereby it might be read by hiscountrymen wheresoever they might be in their dispersion.3. bring again … captivity of … Israel and Judah—the restoration not merely of the Jews(treated of in this thirtieth chapter), but also of the ten tribes ("Israel"; treated in the thirty-firstchapter), together forming the whole nation (Jer 30:18; Jer 32:44; Eze 39:25; Am 9:14, 15). "Israel"is mentioned first because its exile was longer than that of Judah. Some captives of the Israelite tentribes returned with those of Judah (Lu 2:36; "Aser" is mentioned). But these are only a pledge ofthe full restoration hereafter (Ro 11:26, "All Israel"). Compare Jer 16:15. This third verse is a briefstatement of the subject before the prophecy itself is given.5. We have heard … trembling—God introduces the Jews speaking that which they will bereduced to at last in spite of their stubbornness. Threat and promise are combined: the former briefly;namely, the misery of the Jews in the Babylonian captivity down to their "trembling" and "fear"arising from the approach of the Medo-Persian army of Cyrus against Babylon; the promise is morefully dwelt on; namely, their "trembling" will issue in a deliverance as speedy as is the transitionfrom a woman's labor pangs to her joy at giving birth to a child (Jer 30:6).6. Ask—Consult all the authorities, men or books, you can, you will not find an instance. Yetin that coming day men will be seen with their hands pressed on their loins, as women do to represstheir pangs. God will drive men through pain to gestures more fitting a woman than a man (Jer4:31; 6:24). The metaphor is often used to express the previous pain followed by the suddendeliverance of Israel, as in the case of a woman in childbirth (Isa 66:7-9).paleness—properly the color of herbs blasted and fading: the green paleness of one in jaundice:the sickly paleness of terror.7. great—marked by great calamities (Joe 2:11, 31; Am 5:18; Zep 1:14).none like it … but he shall be saved—(Da 12:1). The partial deliverance at Babylon's downfallprefigures the final, complete deliverance of Israel, literal and spiritual, at the downfall of themystical Babylon (Re 18:1-19:21).8. his yoke … thy neck—his, that is, Jacob's (Jer 30:7), the yoke imposed on him. The transitionto the second person is frequent, God speaking of Jacob or Israel, at the same time addressing himdirectly. So "him" rightly follows; "foreigners shall no more make him their servant" (Jer 25:14).After the deliverance by Cyrus, Persia, Alexander, Antiochus, and Rome made Judah their servant.The full of deliverance meant must, therefore, be still future.9. Instead of serving strangers (Jer 30:8), they shall serve the Lord, their rightful King in thetheocracy (Eze 21:27).1329JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonDavid, their king—No king of David's seed has held the scepter since the captivity; forZerubbabel, though of David's line, never claimed the title of "king." The Son of David, Messiah,must therefore be meant; so the Targum (compare Isa 55:3, 4; Eze 34:23, 24; 37:24; Ho 3:5; Ro11:25-32). He was appointed to the throne of David (Isa 9:7; Lu 1:32). He is here joined withJehovah as claiming equal allegiance. God is our "King," only when we are subject to Christ; Godrules us not immediately, but through His Son (Joh 5:22, 23, 27).raise up—applied to the judges whom God raised up as deliverers of Israel out of the hand ofits oppressors (Jud 2:16; 3:9). So Christ was raised up as the antitypical Deliverer (Ps 2:6; Lu 1:69;Ac 2:30; 13:23).10. from afar—Be not afraid as if the distance of the places whither ye are to be dispersedprecludes the possibility of return.seed—Though through the many years of captivity intervening, you yourselves may not seethe restoration, the promise shall be fulfilled to your seed, primarily at the return from Babylon,fully at the final restoration.quiet … none … make … afraid—(Jer 23:6; Zec 14:11).11. though … full end of all nations … yet … not … of thee—(Am 9:8). The punishment ofreprobates is final and fatal; that of God's people temporary and corrective. Babylon was utterlydestroyed: Israel after chastisement was measure—literally, "with judgment," that is, moderation, not in the full rigor of justice (Jer10:24; 46:28; Ps 6:1; Isa 27:8).not … altogether unpunished—(Ex 34:7).12. The desperate circumstances of the Jews are here represented as an incurable wound. Theirsin is so grievous that their hope of the punishment (their exile) soon coming to an end is vain (Jer8:22; 15:18; 2Ch 36:16).13. none to plead—a new image from a court of justice.bound up—namely, with the bandages applied to tie up a healing medicines—literally, "medicines of healing," or else applications, (literally,"ascensions") of medicaments.14. lovers—the peoples formerly allied to thee, Assyria and Egypt (compare La 1:2).seek thee not—have cast away all concern for thee in thy distress.wound of an enemy—a wound such as an enemy would inflict. God condescends to employlanguage adapted to human conceptions. He is incapable of "enmity" or "cruelty"; it was theirgrievous sin which righteously demanded a grievous punishment, as though He were an "enemy"(Jer 5:6; Job 13:24; 30:21).15. Why criest thou—as if God's severity was excessive. Thou hast no reason to complain,for thine affliction is just. Thy cry is too late, for the time of repentance and mercy is past [Calvin].16. Therefore—connected with Jer 30:13, because "There is none to plead thy cause …therefore" I will plead thy cause, and heal thy wound, by overwhelming thy foes. This fifteenthverse is inserted to amplify what was said at the close of Jer 30:14. When the false ways of peace,suggested by the so-called prophets, had only ended in the people's irremediable ruin, the trueprophet comes forward to announce the grace of God as bestowing repentance and healing.devour thee … be devoured … spoil … be a spoil … prey upon … give for aprey—retribution in kind (see on Jer 2:3; Ex 23:22; Isa 33:1).17. (Jer 8:22; 33:6).1330JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonOutcast—as a wife put away by her husband (Isa 62:4, contrasted with Jer 30:12).Zion—alluding to its Hebrew meaning, "dryness"; "sought after" by none, as would be the casewith an arid region (Isa 62:12). The extremity of the people, so far from being an obstacle to, willbe the chosen opportunity of, God's grace.18. bring again … captivity—(Jer 33:7, 11).tents—used to intimate that their present dwellings in Chaldea were but temporary as tents.have mercy on dwelling-places—(Ps 102:13).own heap—on the same hill, that is, site, a hill being the usual site chosen for a city (compareJos 11:13, Margin). This better answers the parallel clause, "after the manner thereof" (that is, inthe same becoming ways as formerly), than the rendering, "its own heap of ruins," as in Jer 49:2.palace—the king's, on Mount Zion.remain—rather, "shall be inhabited" (see on Jer 17:6, Jer 17:25). This confirms English Version,"palace," not as others translate, "the temple" (see 1Ki 16:18; 2Ki 15:25).19. thanksgiving—The Hebrew word includes confession as well as praise; for, in the case ofGod, the highest praises we can bestow are only confessing what God really is [Bengel], (Jer 17:26;31:12, 13; 33:11; Isa 35:10; 51:11).multiply them—(Zec 10:8).20. as aforetime—as flourishing as in the time of David.21. their nobles—rather, "their Glorious One," or "Leader" (compare Ac 3:15; Heb 2:10),answering to "their Governor" in the parallel clause.of themselves—of their own nation, a Jew, not a foreigner; applicable to Zerubbabel, or J.Hyrcanus (hereditary high priest and governor), only as types of Christ (Ge 49:10; Mic 5:2; Ro9:5), the antitypical "David" (Jer 30:9).cause him to draw near—as the great Priest (Ex 19:22; Le 21:17), through whom believersalso have access to God (Heb 10:19-22). His priestly and kingly characters are similarly combined(Ps 110:4; Zec 6:13).who … engaged … heart to approach—literally, "pledged his heart," that is, his life; a thingunique; Messiah alone has made His life responsible as the surety (Heb 7:22; 9:11-15), in order togain access not only for Himself, but for us to God. Heart is here used for life, to express the couragewhich it needed to undertake such a tremendous suretyship. The question implies admiration atone being found competent by His twofold nature, as God and man, for the task. Compare theinterrogation (Isa 63:1-3).22. ye shall be my people, &c.—The covenant shall be renewed between God and His peoplethrough Messiah's mediation (Jer 30:21; 31:1, 33; 32:38; Eze 11:20; 36:28).23, 24. (Jer 23:19). Vengeance upon God's foes always accompanies manifestations of Hisgrace to His people.continuing—literally, "sojourning," abiding constantly; appropriately here in the case ofBabylon, which was to be permanently destroyed, substituted for "whirling itself about" ("grievous"in English Version) (see on Jer 23:19,20), where the temporary downfall of Judea is spoken of.CHAPTER 31Jer 31:1-40. Continuation of the Prophecy in the Thirtieth Chapter.1331JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonAs in that chapter the restoration of Judah, so in this the restoration of Israel's ten tribes isforetold.1. At the same time—"In the latter days" (Jer 30:24).the God of—manifesting My grace to (Ge 17:7; Mt 22:32; Re 21:3).all … Israel—not the exiles of the south kingdom of Judah only, but also the north kingdomof the ten tribes; and not merely Israel in general, but "all the families of Israel." Never yet fulfilled(Ro 11:26).2. Upon the grace manifested to Israel "in the wilderness" God grounds His argument forrenewing His favors to them now in their exile; because His covenant is "everlasting" (Jer 31:3),and changes not. The same argument occurs in Ho 13:5, 9, 10; 14:4, 5, 8. Babylon is fitly comparedto the "wilderness," as in both alike Israel was as a stranger far from his appointed "rest" or home,and Babylon is in Isa 40:3 called a "desert" (compare Jer 50:12).I went to cause him to rest—namely, in the pillar of cloud and fire, the symbol of God'spresence, which went before Israel to search a resting-place (Nu 10:33; Isa 63:14) for the people,both a temporary one at each halt in the wilderness, and a permanent one in Canaan (Ex 33:14; De3:20; Jos 21:44; Ps 95:11; Heb 3:11).3. Israel gratefully acknowledges in reply God's past grace; but at the same time tacitly impliesby the expression "of old," that God does not appear to her now. "God appeared to me of old, butnow I am forsaken!" God replies, Nay, I love thee with the same love now as of old. My love wasnot a momentary impulse, but from "everlasting" in My counsels, and to "everlasting" in itscontinuance; hence originated the covenant whereby I gratuitously adopted thee (Mal 1:2; Ro 11:28,29). Margin translates, "from afar," which does not answer so well as "of old," to "in the wilderness"(Jer 31:2), which refers to the olden times of Israel's history.with loving kindness … drawn—(Ho 11:4). Rather, "I have drawn out continually My lovingkindness toward thee." So Ps 36:10, "Continue (Margin, 'Draw out at length') Thy loving kindness."By virtue of My everlasting love I will still extend My loving kindness to thee. So Isa 44:21, "OIsrael, thou shalt not be forgotten of Me."4. I will build … thou shalt be built—The combination of the active and passive to expressthe same fact implies the infallible certainty of its accomplishment. "Build," that is, establish inprosperity (Jer 33:7).adorned with … tabrets—(1Sa 18:6). Or, "adorn thyself with thy timbrels"; used by damselson occasions of public rejoicings (Ex 15:20; Jud 11:34). Israel had cast away all instruments of joyin her exile (Ps 137:4).dances—holy joy, not carnal mirth.5. Samaria—the metropolis of the ten tribes; here equivalent to Israel. The mountainous natureof their country suited the growth of the … as common—literally, "shall profane," that is, shall put to common use. For the firstthree years after planting, the vine was "not to be eaten of"; on the fourth year the fruit was to be"holy to praise the Lord withal"; on the fifth year the fruit was to be eaten as common, no longerrestricted to holy use (Le 19:23-25; compare De 20:6; 28:30, Margin). Thus the idea here is, "Thesame persons who plant shall reap the fruits"; it shall no longer be that one shall plant and anotherreap the fruit.1332JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. The watchmen stationed on eminences (types of the preachers of the gospel), shall summonthe ten tribes to go up to the annual feasts at Jerusalem ("Zion"), as they used to do before the revoltand the setting up of the idol calves at Dan and Beer-sheba (Eze 37:21, 22).Mount Ephraim—not one single mountain, but the whole mountainous region of the ten tribes.our God—from whom we formerly revolted, but who is now our God. An earnest of that goodtime to come is given in the partial success of the gospel in its first preaching in Samaria (Joh4:1-42; Ac 8:5-25).7. The people are urged with praises and prayers to supplicate for their universal restoration.Jehovah is represented in the context (Jer 31:1, 8), as promising immediately to restore Israel. Theytherefore praise God for the restoration, being as certain of it as if it were actually accomplished;and at the same time pray for it, as prayer was a means to the desired end. Prayer does not moveGod to grant our wishes, but when God has determined to grant our wishes, He puts it into ourhearts to pray for the thing desired. Compare Ps 102:13-17, as to the connection of Israel's restorationwith the prayers of His people (Isa 62:1-6).for Jacob—on account of Jacob; on account of his approaching deliverance by Jehovah.among—"for," that is, on account of, would more exactly suit the parallelism to "for Jacob."chief of the nations—Israel: as the parallelism to "Jacob" proves (compare Ex 19:5; Ps 135:4;Am 6:1). God estimates the greatness of nations not by man's standard of material resources, butby His electing favor.8. north—Assyria, Media, &c. (see on Jer 3:12; Jer 3:18; 23:8).gather from … coasts of … earth—(Eze 20:34, 41; 34:13).blind … lame, &c.—Not even the most infirm and unfit persons for a journey shall be leftbehind, so universal shall be the restoration.a great company—or, they shall return "in a great company" [Maurer].9. weeping—for their past sins which caused their exile (Ps 126:5, 6). Although they comewith weeping, they shall return with joy (Jer 50:4, 5).supplications—(Compare Jer 31:18, 19; Jer 3:21-25; Zec 12:10). Margin translates "favors,"as in Jos 11:20; Ezr 9:8; thus God's favors or compassions are put in opposition to the people'sweeping; their tears shall be turned into joy. But English Version suits the parellelism best.I will cause … to walk by … waters … straight way—(Isa 35:6-8; 43:19; 49:10, 11). Godwill give them waters to satisfy their thirst as in the wilderness journey from Egypt. So spiritually(Mt 5:6; Joh 7:37).Ephraim—the ten tribes no longer severed from Judah, but forming one people with first-born—(Ex 4:22; Ho 11:1; Ro 9:4). So the elect Church (2Co 6:18; Jas 1:18).10. The tidings of God's interposition in behalf of Israel will arrest the attention of even theuttermost Gentile nations.He that scattered will gather—He who scattered knows where to find Israel; He who smotecan also heal.keep—not only will gather, but keep safely to the end (Joh 13:1; 17:11).shepherd—(Isa 40:11; Eze 34:12-14).11. ransomed … from … hand of … stronger—No strength of the foe can prevent the Lordfrom delivering Jacob (Isa 49:24, 25).12. height of Zion—(Eze 17:23).flow—There shall be a conflux of worshippers to the temple on Zion (Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1).1333JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto the goodness of … Lord—(See Jer 31:14). Beneficence, that is, to the Lord as the sourceof all good things (Ho 3:5), to pray to Him and praise Him for these blessings of which He is theFountainhead.watered garden—(Isa 58:11). Not merely for a time, but continually full of holy comfort.not sorrow any more—referring to the Church triumphant, as well as to literal Israel (Isa 35:10;65:19; Re 21:4).13. young … old—(Zec 8:4, 5).14. my goodness—(Jer 31:12).15. Ramah—In Benjamin, east of the great northern road, two hours' journey from Jerusalem.Rachel, who all her life had pined for children (Ge 30:1), and who died with "sorrow" in givingbirth to Benjamin (Ge 35:18, 19, Margin; 1Sa 10:2), and was buried at Ramah, near Beth-lehem,is represented as raising her head from the tomb, and as breaking forth into "weeping" at seeingthe whole land depopulated of her sons, the Ephraimites. Ramah was the place where Nebuzara-dancollected all the Jews in chains, previous to their removal to Babylon (Jer 40:1). God thereforeconsoles her with the promise of their restoration. Mt 2:17, 18 quotes this as fulfilled in the massacreof the innocents under Herod. "A lesser and a greater event, of different times, may answer to thesingle sense of one passage of Scripture, until the prophecy is exhausted" [Bengel]. Besides thetemporary reference to the exiles in Babylon, the Holy Spirit foreshadowed ultimately Messiah'sexile in Egypt, and the desolation caused in the neighborhood of Rachel's tomb by Herod's massacreof the children, whose mothers had "sons of sorrow" (Ben-oni), just as Rachel had. The return ofMessiah (the representative of Israel) from Egypt, and the future restoration of Israel, both theliteral and the spiritual (including the innocents), at the Lord's second advent, are antitypical of therestoration of Israel from Babylon, which is the ground of consolation held out here by Jeremiah.The clause, "They were not," that is, were dead (Ge 42:13), does not apply so strictly to the exilesin Babylon as it does to the history of Messiah and His people—past, present, and future. So thewords, "There is hope in thine end," are to be fulfilled ultimately, when Rachel shall meet hermurdered children at the resurrection, at the same time that literal Israel is to be restored. "Theywere not," in Hebrew, is singular; each was not: each mother at the Beth-lehem massacre had butone child to lament, as the limitation of age in Herod's order, "two years and under," implies; thisuse of the singular distributively (the mothers weeping severally, each for her own child), is acoincidence between the prophecy of the Beth-lehem massacre and the event, the more remarkableas not being obvious: the singular, too, is appropriate as to Messiah in His Egyptian exile, who wasto be a leading object of Rachel's lamentation.16. thy work—thy parental weeping for thy children [Rosenmuller]. Thine affliction in the lossof thy children, murdered for Christ's sake, shall not be fruitless to thee, as was the case in thygiving birth to the "child of thy sorrow," Benjamin. Primarily, also, thy grief shall not be perpetual:the exiles shall return, and the land be inhabited again [Calvin].come again—(Ho 1:11).17. hope in … end—All thy calamities shall have a prosperous issue.18. Ephraim—representing the ten tribes.bemoaning himself—The spirit of penitent supplication shall at last be poured on Israel as thenecessary forerunner of their restoration (Zec 12:10-14).Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised—In the first clause the chastisement itself ismeant; in the second the beneficial effect of it in teaching the penitent true wisdom.1334JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbullock unaccustomed to … yoke—A similar image occurs in De 32:15. Compare"stiff-necked," Ac 7:51; Ex 32:9, an image from refractory oxen. Before my chastisement I neededthe severe correction I received, as much as an untamed bullock needs the goad. Compare Ac 9:5,where the same figure is used of Saul while unconverted. Israel has had a longer chastisement thanJudah, not having been restored even at the Jews' return from Babylon. Hereafter, at its restoration,it shall confess the sore discipline was all needed to "accustom" it to God's "easy yoke" (Mt 11:29,30).turn thou me—by Thy converting Spirit (La 5:21). But why does Ephraim pray for conversion,seeing that he is already converted? Because we are converted by progressive steps, and need thesame power of God to carry forward, as to originate, our conversion (Joh 6:44, 65; compare withIsa 27:3; 1Pe 1:5; Php 1:6).19. after that I was turned, I repented—Repentance in the full sense follows, not precedes,our being turned to God by God (Zec 12:10). The Jews' "looking to Him whom they pierced" shallresult in their "mourning for Him." Repentance is the tear that flows from the eye of faith turnedto Jesus. He Himself gives it: we give it not of ourselves, but must come to Him for it (Ac 5:31).instructed—made to learn by chastisement. God's Spirit often works through the correctionsof His providence.smote upon … thigh—(Eze 21:12). A token of indignant remorse, shame, and grief, becauseof his past sin.bear … reproach of … youth—"because the calamities which I bore were the just punishmentof my scandalous wantonness against God in my youth"; alluding to the idols set up at Dan andBeth-el immediately after the ten tribes revolted from Judah. His sense of shame shows that he nolonger delights in his sin.20. Is Ephraim my dear son? &c.—The question implies that a negative answer was to beexpected. Who would have thought that one so undutiful to His heavenly Father as Ephraim hadbeen should still be regarded by God as a "pleasant child?" Certainly he was not so in respect tohis sin. But by virtue of God's "everlasting love" (Jer 31:3) on Ephraim's being "turned" to God,he was immediately welcomed as God's "dear son." This verse sets forth God's readiness to welcomethe penitent (Jer 31:18, 19), anticipating his return with prevenient grace and love. Compare Lu15:20: "When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion," &c.spake against—threatened him for his idolatry.remember—with favor and concern, as in Ge 8:1; 30:22.bowels … troubled for him—(De 32:36; Isa 63:15; Ho 11:8)—namely, with the yearnings ofcompassionate love. The "bowels" include the region of the heart, the seat of the affections.21. waymarks—pillars to mark the road for the returning exiles. Caravans set up pillars, orpointed heaps of stones, to mark the way through the desert against their return. So Israel is toldby God to mark the way by which they went in leaving their country for exile; for by the same waythey shall return.highway—(Isa 35:8, 10).22. go about—namely, after human helps (Jer 2:18, 23, 36). Why not return immediately tome? Maurer translates, as in So 5:6, "How long wilt thou withdraw thyself?" Let thy past backslidingssuffice thee now that a new era approaches. What God finds fault with in them is, that they lookedhither and thither, leaning on contingencies, instead of at once trusting the word of God, whichpromised their restoration. To assure them of this, God promises to create a new thing in their land,1335JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonA woman shall compass a man. Calvin explains this: Israel, who is feeble as a woman, shall besuperior to the warlike Chaldeans; the captives shall reduce their captors to captivity. Hengstenbergmakes the "woman" the Jewish Church, and the "man" Jehovah, her husband, whose love she willagain seek (Ho 2:6, 7). Maurer, A woman shall protect (De 32:10, Margin; Ps 32:10) a man, that is,You need fear no foes in returning, for all things shall be so peaceful that a woman would be ableto take man's part, and act as his protector. But the Christian fathers (Augustine, &c.) almostunanimously interpreted it of the Virgin Mary compassing Christ in her womb. This view isfavored:—(1) By the connection; it gives a reason why the exiles should desire a return to theircountry, namely, because Christ was conceived there. (2) The word "created" implies a divinepower put forth in the creation of a body in the Virgin's womb by the Holy Ghost for the secondAdam, such as was exerted in creating the first Adam (Lu 1:35; Heb 10:5). (3) The phrase, "a newthing," something unprecedented; a man whose like had never existed before, at once God andman; a mother out of the ordinary course of nature, at once mother and virgin. An extraordinarymode of generation; one conceived by the Holy Ghost without man. (4) The specification "in theland" (not "earth," as English Version), namely, of Judah, where probably Christ was conceived,in Hebron (compare Lu 1:39, 42, 44, with Jos 21:11) or else in Nazareth, "in the territory" of Israel,to whom Jer 31:5, 6, 15, 18, 21 refer; His birth was at Beth-lehem (Mic 5:2; Mt 2:5, 6). As theplace of His nativity, and of His being reared (Mt 2:23), and of His preaching (Hag 2:7; Mal 3:1),are specified, so it is likely the Holy Spirit designated the place of His being conceived. (5) TheHebrew for "woman" implies an individual, as the Virgin Mary, rather than a collection of persons.(6) The restoration of Israel is grounded on God's covenant in Christ, to whom, therefore, allusionis naturally made as the foundation of Israel's hope (compare Isa 7:14). The Virgin Mary's conceptionof Messiah in the womb answers to the "Virgin of Israel" (therefore so called, Jer 31:21), that is,Israel and her sons at their final restoration, receiving Jesus as Messiah (Zec 12:10). (7) The referenceto the conception of the child Messiah accords with the mention of the massacre of "children"referred to in Jer 31:15 (compare Mt 2:17). (8) The Hebrew for "man" is properly "mighty man,"a term applied to God (De 10:17); and to Christ (Zec 13:7; compare Ps 45:3; Isa 9:6) [Calovius].23. Jerusalem again shall be the metropolis of the whole nation, the seat of "justice" (Ps 122:5-8;Isa 1:26), and of sacred worship ("holiness," Zec 8:3) on "Mount" Moriah.24. Judah … cities … husbandmen … they with flocks—Two classes, citizens andcountrymen, the latter divided into agriculturists and shepherds, all alike in security, though thelatter were to be outside the protection of city walls. "Judah" here stands for the country, asdistinguished from its cities.25. The "weary, sorrowful," and indigent state of Israel will prove no obstacle in the way ofMy helping them.26. The words of Jeremiah: Upon this (or, By reason of this) announcement of a happyrestoration, "I awaked" from the prophetic dream vouchsafed to me (Jer 23:25) with the "sweet"impression thereof remaining on my mind. "Sleep" here means dream, as in Ps 90:5.27. He shows how a land so depopulated shall again be peopled. God will cause both men andbeasts in it to increase to a multitude (Eze 36:9-11; Ho 2:23).28. (Jer 44:27). The same God who, as it were (in human language), was on the watch for allmeans to destroy, shall be as much on the watch for the means of their restoration.29. In those days—after their punishment has been completed, and mercy again visits them.1336JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfathers … eaten … sour grape … children's teeth … on edge—the proverb among the exiles'children born in Babylon, to express that they suffered the evil consequences of their fathers' sinsrather than of their own (La 5:7; Eze 18:2, 3).30. (Ga 6:5, 7).31. the days … new covenant with … Israel … Judah—The new covenant is made withliteral Israel and Judah, not with the spiritual Israel, that is, believers, except secondarily, and asgrafted on the stock of Israel (Ro 11:16-27). For the whole subject of the thirtieth and thirty-firstchapters is the restoration of the Hebrews (Jer 30:4, 7, 10, 18; 31:7, 10, 11, 23, 24, 27, 36). Withthe "remnant according to the election of grace" in Israel, the new covenant has already taken effect.But with regard to the whole nation, its realization is reserved for the last days, to which Paul refersthis prophecy in an abridged form (Ro 11:27).32. Not … the covenant that I made with … fathers—the Old Testament covenant, ascontrasted with our gospel covenant (Heb 8:8-12; 10:16, 17, where this prophecy is quoted to provethe abrogation of the law by the gospel), of which the distinguishing features are its securing byan adequate atonement the forgiveness of sins, and by the inworking of effectual grace ensuringpermanent obedience. An earnest of this is given partially in the present eclectic or elect Churchgathered out of Jews and Gentiles. But the promise here to Israel in the last days is national anduniversal, and effected by an extraordinary outpouring of the Spirit (Jer 31:33, 34; Eze 11:17-20),independent of any merit on their part (Eze 36:25-32; 37:1-28; 39:29; Joe 2:23-28; Zec 12:10; 2Co3:16).took … by … hand—(De 1:31; Ho 11:3).although I was an husband—(compare Jer 3:14; Ho 2:7, 8). But the Septuagint, Syriac, andSt. Paul (Heb 8:9) translate, "I regarded them not"; and Gesenius, &c., justify this rendering of theHebrew from the Arabic. The Hebrews regarded not God, so God regarded them not.33. will be their God—(Jer 32:38).34. True, specially of Israel (Isa 54:13); secondarily, true of believers (Joh 6:45; 1Co 2:10; 1Jo2:20).forgive … iniquity … remember … no more—(Jer 33:8; 50:20; Mic 7:18); applying peculiarlyto Israel (Ro 11:27). Secondarily, all believers (Ac 10:43).35. divideth … sea when … waves … roar … Lord of hosts … name—quoted from Isa51:15, the genuineness of which passage is thus established on Jeremiah's authority.36. a nation—Israel's national polity has been broken up by the Romans. But their preservationas a distinct people amidst violent persecutions, though scattered among all nations for eighteencenturies, unamalgamated, whereas all other peoples under such circumstances have becomeincorporated with the nations in which they have been dispersed, is a perpetual standing miracle(compare Jer 33:20; Ps 148:6; Isa 54:9, 10).37. (Compare Jer 33:22).for all that they have done—namely, all the sins. God will regard His own covenant promise,rather than their merits.38. tower of Hananeel—The city shall extend beyond its former bounds (Ne 3:1; 12:39; Zec14:10).gate of … corner—(2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 26:9).39. measuring-line—(Eze 40:8; Zec 2:1).1337JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGareb—from a Hebrew root, "to scrape"; Syriac, "leprosy"; the locality outside of the city, towhich lepers were removed.Goath—from a root, "to toil," referring to the toilsome ascent there: outside of the city of David,towards the southwest, as Gareb was northwest [Junius].40. valley of … dead—Tophet, where the bodies of malefactors were cast (Isa 30:33), southof the city.fields … Kidron—so 2Ki 23:4. Fields in the suburbs reaching as far as Kidron, east of the gate—Through it the king's horses were led forth for watering to the brook Kidron (2Ki11:16; Ne 3:28).for ever—The city shall not only be spacious, but both "holy to the Lord," that is, freed fromall pollutions, and everlasting (Joe 3:17, 20; Re 21:2, 10, 27).CHAPTER 32Jer 32:1-14. Jeremiah, Imprisoned for His Prophecy against Jerusalem, Buys a Patrimonial Property (His RelativeHanameel's), IN Order to Certify to the Jews Their Future Return from Babylon.1. tenth year—The siege of Jerusalem had already begun, in the tenth month of the ninth yearof Zedekiah (Jer 39:1; 2Ki 25:1).2. in … court of … prison—that is, in the open space occupied by the guard, from which hewas not allowed to depart, but where any of his friends might visit him (Jer 32:12; Jer 38:13, 28).Marvellous obstinacy, that at the time when they were experiencing the truth of Jeremiah's wordsin the pressure of the siege, they should still keep the prophet in confinement [Calvin]. Thecircumstances narrated (Jer 32:3-5) occurred at the beginning of the siege, when Jeremiah foretoldthe capture of the city (Jer 32:1; Jer 34:1-7; 39:1). He was at that time put into free custody in thecourt of the prison. At the raising of the siege by Pharaoh-hophra, Jeremiah was on the point ofrepairing to Benjamin, when he was cast into "the dungeon," but obtained leave to be removedagain to the court of the prison (Jer 37:12-21). When there he urged the Jews, on the second advanceof the Chaldeans to the siege, to save themselves by submission to Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 38:2, 3);in consequence of this the king, at the instigation of the princes, had him cast into a miry dungeon(Jer 38:4-6); again he was removed to the prison court at the intercession of a courtier (Jer 32:7-13),where he remained till the capture of the city (Jer 32:28), when he was liberated (Jer 39:11, &c.;Jer 40:1, &c.).4. his eyes shall behold his eyes—that is, only before reaching Babylon, which he was not tosee. Jer 39:6, 7 harmonizes this prophecy (Jer 32:4) with the seemingly opposite prophecy, Eze12:13, "He shall not see."5. visit him—in a good sense (Jer 27:22); referring to the honor paid Zedekiah at his death andburial (Jer 34:4, 5). Perhaps, too, before his death he was treated by Nebuchadnezzar with somefavor.though ye fight … shall not prosper—(Jer 21:4).6. Jeremiah said—resuming the thread of Jer 32:1, which was interrupted by the parenthesis(Jer 32:2-5).7. son of Shallum thine uncle—therefore, Jeremiah's first cousin.1338JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfield … in Anathoth—a sacerdotal city: and so having one thousand cubits of suburban fieldsoutside the wall attached to it (Nu 35:4, 5). The prohibition to sell these suburban fields (Le 25:34)applied merely to their alienating them from Levites to another tribe; so that this chapter does notcontravene that prohibition. Besides, what is here meant is only the purchase of the use of the fieldtill the year of jubilee. On the failure of the owner, the next of kin had the right of redeeming it (Le25:25, &c.; Ru 4:3-6).8. Then I knew—Not that Jeremiah previously doubted the reality of the divine communication,but, the effect following it, and the prophet's experimentally knowing it, confirmed his faith andwas the seal to the vision. The Roman historian, Florus (2.6), records a similar instance: During thedays that Rome was being besieged by Hannibal, the very ground on which he was encamped wasput up for sale at Rome, and found a purchaser; implying the calm confidence of the ultimate issueentertained by the Roman people.9. seventeen shekels of silver—As the shekel was only 2s. 4d.., the whole would be under £2,a rather small sum, even taking into account the fact of the Chaldean occupation of the land, andthe uncertainty of the time when it might come to Jeremiah or his heirs. Perhaps the "seven shekels,"which in the Hebrew (see Margin) are distinguished from the "ten pieces of silver," were shekelsof gold [Maurer].10. subscribed—I wrote in the deed, "book of purchase" (Jer 32:12).weighed—coined money was not in early use; hence money was "weighed" (Ge 23:16).11. evidence … sealed … open—Two deeds were drawn up in a contract of sale; the one, theoriginal copy, witnessed and sealed with the public seal; the other not so, but open, and thereforeless authoritative, being but a copy. Gataker thinks that the purchaser sealed the one with his ownseal; the other he showed to witnesses that they might write their names on the back of it and knowthe contents; and that some details, for example, the conditions and time of redemption were in thesealed copy, which the parties might not choose to be known to the witnesses, and which weretherefore not in the open copy. The sealed copy, when opened after the seventy years' captivity,would greatly confirm the faith of those living at that time. The "law and custom" refer, probably,not merely to the sealing up of the conditions and details of purchase, but also to the law ofredemption, according to which, at the return to Judea, the deed would show that Jeremiah hadbought the field by his right as next of kin (Le 25:13-16), [Ludovicus De Dieu].12. Baruch—Jeremiah's amanuensis and agent (Jer 36:4, &c.).before all—In sales everything clandestine was avoided; publicity was required. So here, inthe court of prison, where Jeremiah was confined, there were soldiers and others, who had freeaccess to him, present (Jer 38:1).14. in an earthen vessel—that the documents might not be injured by the moisture of thesurrounding earth; at the same time, being buried, they could not be stolen, but would remain as apledge of the Jews' deliverance until God's time should come.15. (Compare Jer 32:24, 25, 37, 43, 44).16. Jeremiah, not comprehending how God's threat of destroying Judah could be reconciledwith God's commanding him to purchase land in it as if in a free country, has recourse to his grandremedy against perplexities, prayer.17. hast made … heaven—Jeremiah extols God's creative power, as a ground of humility onhis part as man: It is not my part to call Thee, the mighty God, to account for Thy ways (compareJer 12:1).1339JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontoo hard—In Jer 32:27 God's reply exactly accords with Jeremiah's prayer (Ge 18:14; Zec 8:6;Lu 1:37).18. (Ex 34:7; Isa 65:6). This is taken from the decalogue (Ex 20:5, 6). This is a secondconsideration to check hasty judgments as to God's ways: Thou art the gracious and righteous Judgeof the world.19. counsel … work—devising … executing (Isa 28:29).eyes … open upon all—(Job 34:21; Pr 5:21).to give … according to … ways—(Jer 17:10).20. even unto this day—Thou hast given "signs" of Thy power from the day when Thou didstdeliver Israel out of Egypt by mighty miracles, down to the present time [Maurer]. Calvin explains it,"memorable even unto this day."among other men—not in Israel only, but among foreign peoples also. Compare for "other"understood, Ps 73:5.made thee a name—(Ex 9:16; 1Ch 17:21; Isa 63:12).as at this day—a name of power, such as Thou hast at this day.21. (Ps 136:11, 12).22. given … didst swear—God gave it by a gratuitous covenant, not for their deserts.a land flowing with milk and honey—(See on Nu 14:8).23. all … thou commandedst … all this evil—Their punishment was thus exactly commensuratewith their sin. It was not fortuitous.24. mounts—mounds of earth raised as breastworks by the besieging army, behind which theyemployed their engines, and which they gradually pushed forward to the walls of the city.behold, thou seest it—connected with Jer 32:25. Thou seest all this with Thine own eyes, andyet (what seems inconsistent with it) Thou commandest me to buy a field.25. for the city, &c.—rather, "though," &c.27. Jehovah retorts Jeremiah's own words: I am indeed, as thou sayest (Jer 32:17), the God andCreator of "all flesh," and "nothing is too hard for Me"; thine own words ought to have taught theethat, though Judea and Jerusalem are given up to the Chaldeans now for the sins of the Jews, yetit will not be hard to Me, when I please, to restore the state so that houses and lands therein shallbe possessed in safety (Jer 32:36-44).29. burn … houses upon whose roofs … incense unto Baal—retribution in kind. They burntincense to Baal, on the houses, so the houses shall be burnt (Jer 19:13). The god of fire was theobject of their worship; so fire shall be the instrument of their provoke me—indicating the design, not merely the event. They seemed to court God's"anger," and purposely to "provoke" Him.30. have … done—literally, "have been doing"; implying continuous action.only … evil … only provoked me—They have been doing nothing else but evil; their sole aimseems to have been to provoke Me.their youth—the time when they were in the wilderness, having just before come into nationalexistence.31. provocation of mine anger—literally, "for mine anger." Calvin, therefore, connects thesewords with those at the end of the verse, "this city has been to me an object for mine anger (namely,by reason of the provocations mentioned, Jer 32:30, &c.), that I should remove it," &c. Thus, therewill not be the repetition of the sentiment, Jer 32:30, as in English Version; the Hebrew also favors1340JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthis rendering. However, Jeremiah delights in repetitions. In English Version the words, "that Ishould remove it," &c., stand independently, as the result of what precedes. The time is ripe fortaking vengeance on them (2Ki 23:27).from the day that they built it—Solomon completed the building of the city; and it was hewho, first of the Jewish kings, turned to idolatry. It was originally built by the idolatrous Canaanites.32. priests … prophets—(Ne 9:32, 34). Hence, learn, though ministers of God apostatize, wemust remain faithful.33. (Jer 2:27; 7:13).34. (Jer 7:30, 31; Eze 8:5-17).35. cause … pass through … fire—By way of purification, they passed through with bare feet(Le 18:21).Molech—meaning "king"; the same as Milcom (1Ki 11:33).I commanded … not—This cuts off from the superstitious the plea of a good intention. All"will-worship" exposes to God's wrath (Col 2:18, 23).36. And now therefore—rather, "But now, nevertheless." Notwithstanding that their guiltdeserves lasting vengeance, God, for the elect's sake and for His covenant's sake, will, contrary toall that might have been expected, restore say, It shall be delivered into … king of Babylon—The reprobate pass from the extremeof self-confidence to that of despair of God's fulfilling His promise of restoring them.37. (See on Jer 16:15). The "all" countries implies a future restoration of Israel more universalthan that from Babylon.38. (Jer 30:22; 24:7).39. one heart—all seeking the Lord with one accord, in contrast to their state when onlyscattered individuals sought Him (Eze 11:19, 20; Zep 3:9).for … good of them—(Ps 34:12-15).40. (Jer 31:31, 33; Isa 55:3).not depart from me—never yet fully realized as to the Israelites.I will not turn away from them … good—(Isa 30:21). Jehovah compares Himself to a sedulouspreceptor following his pupils everywhere to direct their words, gestures.put my fear in … hearts … not depart from me—Both the conversion and perseverance ofthe saints are the work of God alone, by the operation of the Holy Spirit.41. rejoice over them—(De 30:9; Isa 62:5; 65:19; Zep 3:17).plant … assuredly—rather, "in stability," that is, permanently, for ever (Jer 24:6; Am 9:15).42. (Jer 31:28). The restoration from Babylon was only a slight foretaste of the grace to beexpected by Israel at last through Christ.43. (Jer 32:15).whereof ye say, It is desolate—(Jer 33:10).44. Referring to the forms of contract (Jer 32:10-12):Benjamin—specified as Anathoth; Jeremiah's place of residence where the field lay (Jer 32:8),was in it.CHAPTER 331341JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonJer 33:1-26. Prophecy of the Restoration from Babylon, and of Messiah as King and Priest.1. shut up—(Jer 32:2, 3; 2Ti 2:9). Though Jeremiah was shut up in bondage, the word of Godwas "not bound."2. maker thereof—rather, "the doer of it," namely, that which Jeremiah is about to prophesy,the restoration of Israel, an act which is thought now impossible, but which the Almighty will effect.formed it—namely, Jerusalem (Jer 32:44) [Calvin]. Rather, "that formed," that is, moulds Hispurpose into due shape for execution (Isa 37:26).Lord … his name—(Ex 3:14, 15).3. Call … I will answer—(Jer 29:12; Ps 91:15). Jeremiah, as the representative of the peopleof God, is urged by God to pray for that which God has determined to grant; namely, the restoration.God's promises are not to slacken, but to quicken the prayers of His people (Ps 132:13, 17; Isa 62:6,7).mighty things—Hebrew, "inaccessible things," that is, incredible, hard to man's understanding[Maurer], namely, the restoration of the Jews, an event despaired of. "Hidden," or "recondite" [Piscator].thou knowest not—Yet God had revealed those things to Jeremiah, but the unbelief of thepeople in rejecting the grace of God had caused him to forget God's promise, as though the caseof the people admitted of no remedy.4. houses … thrown down by the mounts—namely, by the missiles cast from the besiegers'mounds (Jer 32:24); "and by the sword" follows properly, as, after missiles had prepared the way,the foe next advanced to close quarters "with the sword."5. They—the Jews; the defenders of the "houses" (Jer 33:4), "come forward to fight with theChaldeans," who burst into the city through the "thrown-down houses," but all the effect that theyproduce "is, to fill them (the houses) with" their own "dead bodies."6. (Jer 30:17). The answer to Jeremiah's mournful question (Jer 8:22).cure—literally, the long linen bandage employed in dressing wounds.truth—that is, stability; I will bring forth for them abundant and permanent peace, that is,prosperity.7. cause … to return—that is, reverse (Jer 33:11; Jer 32:44). The specification, both of "Judah"and "Israel," can only apply fully to the future at the first—(Isa 1:26).8. cleanse—(Eze 36:25; Zec 13:1; Heb 9:13, 14). Alluding to the legal rites of purification.all their iniquity … all their iniquities—both the principle of sin within, and its outwardmanifestations in acts. The repetition is in order that the Jews may consider how great is the graceof God in not merely pardoning (as to the punishment), but also cleansing them (as to the pollutionof guilt); not merely one iniquity, but all (Mic 7:18).9. it—the city.a name … a praise—(Jer 13:11; Isa 62:7).them—the inhabitants of Jerusalem.they shall fear … for all the goodness—(Ps 130:4). The Gentiles shall be led to "fear" Godby the proofs of His power displayed in behalf of the Jews; the ungodly among them shall "tremble"for fear of God's judgments on them; the penitent shall reverentially fear and be converted to Him(Ps 102:15; Isa 60:3).10. ye say … desolate—(Jer 32:43).11. (Jer 7:34; 16:9).1342JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonPraise the Lord, &c.—the words of Ps 136:1, which were actually used by the Jews at theirrestoration (Ezr 3:11).sacrifice of praise—(Ps 107:22; 116:17). This shall continue when all other sacrifices shall beat an end.12. habitation of shepherds … flocks—in contrast to Jer 33:10, "without man … inhabitant… without beast" (Jer 32:43; compare Jer 31:24; 50:19; Isa 65:10).13. pass … under … hands of him that telleth them—Shepherds, in sending forth and bringingback their sheep to the folds, count them by striking each as it passes with a rod, implying theshepherd's provident care that not one should be lost (Le 27:32; Mic 7:14; compare Joh 10:28, 29;17:12).14. perform—"I will make to rise"; God's promise having for a time seemed to "lie" dead andabortive [Calvin].15. Repeated from Jer 23:5.the land—the Holy Land: Israel and Judah (Jer 23:6).16. Jerusalem—In Jer 23:6, instead of this, it is "Israel." "The name" in the Hebrew has hereto be supplied from that passage; and for "he" (Messiah, the antitypical "Israel"), the antecedentthere (Isa 49:3), we have "she" here, that is, Jerusalem. She is called by the same name as Messiah,"The Lord Our Righteousness," by virtue of the mystical oneness between her (as the literalrepresentative of the spiritual Church) and her Lord and Husband. Thus, whatever belongs to theHead belongs also to the members (Eph 5:30, 32). Hence, the Church is called "Christ" (Ro 16:7;1Co 12:12). The Church hereby professes to draw all her righteousness from Christ (Isa 45:24, 25).It is for the sake of Jerusalem, literal and spiritual, that God the Father gives this name (Jehovah,Tsidkenu, "The Lord our Righteousness") to Christ.17. The promises of perpetuity of the throne of David fulfilled in Messiah, the son of David(2Sa 7:16; 1Ki 2:4; Ps 89:4, 29, 36; compare Lu 1:32, 33).18. Messiah's literal priesthood (Heb 7:17, 21, 24-28), and His followers' spiritual priesthoodand sacrifices (Jer 33:11; Ro 12:1; 15:16; 1Pe 2:5, 9; Re 1:6), shall never cease, according to thecovenant with Levi, broken by the priests, but fulfilled by Messiah (Nu 25:12, 13; Mal 2:4, 5, 8).20. covenant of the day—that is, covenant with the day: answering to "covenant with David"(Jer 33:21, also Jer 33:25, "with day"; compare Jer 31:35, 36; Le 26:42; Ps 89:34, 37).22. (Ge 15:5; 22:17). The blessing there promised belonged to all the tribes; here it is restrictedto the family of David and the tribe of Levi, because it was on these that the welfare of the wholepeople rested. When the kingdom and priesthood flourish in the person of Messiah, the whole nationshall temporally and spiritually prosper.24. this people—certain of the Jews, especially those who spoke with Jeremiah in the court ofthe prison (Jer 32:12; 38:1).the two families—Judah and Israel.before them—in their judgment. They suppose that I have utterly cast off Israel so as to he nomore a nation. The expression, "My people," of itself, shows God has not cast off Israel for ever.25. (Jer 31:35, 36; Ge 8:22; Ps 74:16, 17). I who have established the laws of nature am thesame God who has made a covenant with the Church.26. Isaac—(Ps 105:9; Am 7:9, 16).1343JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 34Jer 34:1-22. Captivity of Zedekiah and the People Foretold for Their Disobedience and Perfidy.The prophecy (Jer 34:1-7) as to Zedekiah is an amplification of that in Jer 32:1-5, in consequenceof which Jeremiah was then shut up in the court of the prison. The prophecy (Jer 34:8-22) refersto the Jews, who, afraid of the capture of the city, had, in obedience to the law, granted freedom totheir servants at the end of seven years, but on the intermission of the siege forced them back intobondage.1. Jerusalem and … all the cities thereof—(see on Jer 19:15). It was amazing blindness inthe king, that, in such a desperate position, he should reject admonition.3. (Jer 32:4).4, 5. Mitigation of Zedekiah's punishment.5. the burnings of thy fathers—Thy funeral shall be honored with the same burning of aromaticspices as there was at the funerals of thy fathers (2Ch 16:14; 21:19). The honors here mentionedwere denied to Jehoiakim (Jer 22:18).Ah, lord!—The Hebrews in their chronology (Seder Olam) mention the wailing used over him,"Alas! King Zedekiah is dead, drinking the dregs (that is, paying the penalty for the sins) of formerages."7. these … retained—alone (compare 2Ch 11:5, 9).8. By the law a Hebrew, after having been a bond-servant for six years, on the seventh was tobe let go free (Ex 21:22; De 15:12).Zedekiah made a covenant—with solemn ceremonial in the temple (Jer 34:15, 18, 19).them—bond-servants (Jer 34:9).9. none … serve himself of a Jew—(Le 25:39-46).11. During the interruption of the siege by Pharaoh-hophra (compare Jer 34:21, 22, with Jer37:5-10), the Jews reduced their servants to bondage again.13. The last year of Zedekiah was the sabbatical year. How just the retribution, that they who,against God's law and their own covenant, enslaved their brethren, should be doomed to bondagethemselves: and that the bond-servants should enjoy the sabbatical freedom at the hands of the foe(Jer 52:16) which their own countrymen denied them!14. At the end of seven years—that is, not on the eighth year, but within the limit of the seventhyear, not later than the end of the seventh year (Ex 21:2; 23:10; De 15:12). So "at the end of threeyears" (De 14:28; 2Ki 18:10), and "after three days, I will rise again" (Mt 27:63), that is, on thethird day (compare Mt 27:64).15. in the house … called by my name—the usual place of making such covenants (2Ki 23:3;compare 1Ki 8:31; Ne 10:29).16. polluted my name—by violating your oath (Ex 20:7).17. not … proclaiming liberty—Though the Jews had ostensibly emancipated theirbond-servants, they virtually did not do so by revoking the liberty which they had granted. Godlooks not to outward appearances, but to the sincere intention.I proclaim a liberty—retribution answering to the offense (Mt 7:2; 18:32, 33; Ga 6:7; Jas2:13). The Jews who would not give liberty to their brethren shall themselves receive "a liberty"calamitous to them. God will manumit them from His happy and safe service (Ps 121:3), which isreal "liberty" (Ps 119:45; Joh 8:36; 2Co 3:17), only to pass under the terrible bondage of othertaskmasters, the "sword," &c.1344JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto be removed—The Hebrew expresses agitation (see on Jer 15:4). Compare De 28:25, 48,64, 65, as to the restless agitation of the Jews in their ceaseless removals from place to place intheir dispersion.18. passed between the parts thereof—The contracting parties in the "covenant" (not herethe law in general, but their covenant made before God in His house to emancipate their slaves, Jer34:8, 9) passed through the parts of the animal cut in two, implying that they prayed so to be cutin sunder (Mt 24:51; Greek, "cut in two") if they should break the covenant (Ge 15:10, 17).20. I will even give—resuming the sentence begun, but not completed (Jer 34:18), "I will give,"& their life—implacably: satisfied with nothing short of their blood; not content with booty.dead bodies—The breakers of the covenant shall be cut in pieces, as the calf between whoseparts they passed.21. gone up—that is, raised the siege in order to meet Pharaoh-hophra (Jer 37:7-10). Thedeparture of the Chaldeans was a kind of manumission of the Jews; but as their manumission oftheir bond-servants was recalled, so God revoked His manumission of them from the Chaldeans.22. I will command—Nebuchadnezzar, impelled unconsciously by a divine instigation, returnedon the withdrawal of the Egyptians.CHAPTER 35Jer 35:1-19. Prophecy in the Reign of Jehoiakim, when the Chaldeans, in Conjunction with the Syrians and Moabites,Invaded Judea.By the obedience of the Rechabites to their father, Jeremiah condemns the disobedience of theJews to God their Father. The Holy Spirit has arranged Jeremiah's prophecies by the moral ratherthan the chronological connection. From the history of an event fifteen years before, the Jews, whohad brought back their manumitted servants into bondage, are taught how much God loves andrewards obedience, and hates and punishes disobedience.2. Rechabites—a nomadic tribe belonging to the Kenites of Hemath (1Ch 2:55), of the familyof Jethro, or Hobab, Moses' father-in-law (Ex 18:9, &c.; Nu 10:29-32; Jud 1:16). They came intoCanaan with the Israelites, but, in order to preserve their independence, chose a life in tents withouta fixed habitation (1Sa 15:6). Besides the branch of them associated with Judah and extending toAmalek, there was another section at Kadesh, in Naphtali (Jud 4:11, 17). They seem to have beenproselytes of the gate, Jonadab, son of Rechab, whose charge not to drink wine they so strictlyobeyed, was zealous for God (2Ki 10:15-23). The Nabatheans of Arabia observed the same rules[Diodorus Siculus, 19.94].bring … into … house of … Lord—because there were suitable witnesses at hand there fromamong the priests and chief men, as also because he had the power immediately to address thepeople assembled there (Jer 35:13). It may have been also as a reproof of the priests, who drankwine freely, though commanded to refrain from it when in the discharge of their duties [Calvin].chambers—which were round about the temple, applied to various uses, for example, to containthe vestments, sacred vessels, &c.3. Jaazaniah—the elder and chief of the clan.1345JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. man of God—a prophet (De 33:1; 1Sa 2:27; 1Ki 12:22; 2Ki 4:7), also "a servant of God"in general (1Ti 6:11), one not his own, but God's; one who has parted with all right in himself togive himself wholly to God (2Ti 3:17). He was so reverenced that none would call in question whatwas transacted in his chamber.keeper of the door—Hebrew, "of the vessel." Probably the office meant is that of the priestwho kept in charge the capitation money paid for the use of the temple and the votive offerings,such as silver vessels, &c. There were seven such keepers [Grotius]. Compare 2Ki 12:9; 25:18; 1Ch9:18, 19, which support English Version.I said … Drink—Jeremiah does not say, The Lord saith, Drink: for then they would have beenbound to obey. Contrast the case in 1Ki 13:7-26.6. Jonadab … our father—that is, forefather and director, three hundred years before (2Ki10:15). They were called Rechabites, not Jonadabites, having received their name from Rechab thefather, previously to their adopting the injunctions of Jonadab his son. This case affords nojustification for slavish deference to the religious opinions of the Christian fathers: for Jonadab'sinjunction only affected matters of the present life; moreover, it was not binding on their consciences,for they deemed it not unlawful to go to Jerusalem in the invasion (Jer 35:11). What is praised hereis not the father's injunction, but the obedience of the sons [Calvin].7. tents—(Jud 4:17).live many days—according to the promise connected with the fifth commandment (Ex 20:12;Eph 6:2, 3).strangers—They were not of the stock of Jacob, but sojourners in Israel. Types of the childrenof God, pilgrims on earth, looking for heaven as their home: having little to lose, so that losingtimes cost them little alarm; sitting loose to what they have (Heb 10:34; 11:9, 10, 13-16).8. all that he … charged us … all our days, we … wives … sons … daughters—unreservedobedience in all particulars, at all times, and on the part of all, without exception: in these respectsIsrael's obedience to God was wanting. Contrast 1Sa 15:20, 21; Ps 78:34-37, 41, 56, 57.11. Chaldeans … Syrians—when Jehoiakim revolted from Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:1, 2).Necessity sets aside all other laws. This is the Rechabites' excuse for their seeming disobedienceto Jonadab in temporarily settling in a city. Herein was seen the prescient wisdom of Jonadab'scommands; they could at a moment's notice migrate, having no land possessions to tie them.14. obey … father's commandment: notwithstanding I—(Mal 1:6).rising early and speaking—God Himself speaking late and early by His various ways ofprovidence and grace.15. In Jer 35:15 and in 2Ch 36:15, a distinct mode of address is alluded to, namely, God sendingHis servants. (Jer 18:11; 25:5, 6). I enjoined nothing unreasonable, but simply to serve Me, and Iattached to the command a gracious promise, but in vain. If Jonadab's commands, which werearbitrary and not moral obligations in themselves, were obeyed, much more ought Mine, which arein themselves right.17. because I have spoken … not heard … I … called … not answered—(Pr 1:24; Isa 65:12).19. not want a man to stand before me—There shall always be left representatives of the clanto worship Me (Jer 15:1, 19); or, "before Me" means simple existence, for all things in existenceare in God's sight (Ps 89:36). The Rechabites returned from the captivity. Wolff found traces ofthem in Arabia.1346JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 36Jer 36:1-32. Baruch Writes, and Reads Publicly Jeremiah's Prophecies Collected in a Volume. The Roll Is Burntby Jehoiakim, and Written Again by Baruch at Jeremiah's Dictation.1. fourth year—The command to write the roll was given in the fourth year, but it was notread publicly till the fifth year. As Isaiah subjoined to his predictions a history of events confirminghis prophecies (Isa 36:1-22; 37:1-38; 38:1-22; 39:1-8), so Jeremiah also in the thirty-seventh throughforty-third chapters; but he prefaces his history with the narrative of an incident that occurred sometime ago, showing that he, not only by word, but in writing, and that twice, had testified all that heabout to state as having subsequently come to pass [Grotius]. At the end of Jehoiakim's third year,Nebuchadnezzar enrolled an army against Jerusalem and took it in the end of the fifth or beginningof the sixth year, carrying away captive Jehoiakim, Daniel, &c. Jehoiakim returned the same year,and for three years was tributary: then he withheld tribute. Nebuchadnezzar returned and tookJerusalem, and carried off Jehoiakim, who died on the road. This harmonizes this chapter with 2Ki24:1-20 and Da 1:1-21. See on Jer 22:19.2. roll of a book—a book formed of prepared skins made into a roll. Compare "volume of thebook," that is, the Pentateuch (Ps 40:7). It does not follow that his prophecies were not beforecommitted to writing; what is implied is, they were now written together in one volume, so as tobe read continuously to the Jews in the temple.against … nations—(Jer 25:15, &c.).from … days of Josiah—(Jer 25:3). From Josiah's thirteenth year (Jer 1:2).3. hear—consider seriously.return … from … evil way—(Jon 3:8).4. all … words of … Lord—God specially suggesting what might otherwise have escaped hismemory, and directing the choice of words, as well as the substance (Joh 14:26; 16:13).5. I am shut up—not in prison, for there is no account of his imprisonment under Jehoiakim,and Jer 36:19, 26 are inconsistent with it: but, "I am prevented," namely, by some hindrance; or,through fear of the king, to whose anger Baruch was less exposed, as not being the author of theprophecy.6. go—on the following year (Jer 36:9).fasting day—(See Jer 36:9). An extraordinary fast, in the ninth month (whereas the fast on thegreat day of atonement was on the tenth day of the seventh month, Le 16:29; 23:27