Isa 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 send to the king of
Judah the tribute of lambs, which they had formerly paid to
Israel, but which they had given up (2Ki 3:4, 5). David probably imposed this tribute
before the severance of Judah and Israel (2Sa 8:2). Therefore Moab is recommended to gain
the favor and protection of Judah, by paying it to the Jewish
king. Type of the need of submitting to Messiah (Ps 2:10-12;
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 mostly hewn 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 master of
Idumea and Sela (2Ki 14:7).
2. cast out of … nest—rather, "as
a brood cast out" (in apposition with "a wandering bird," or
rather, wandering birds), namely, a brood just fledged and
expelled from the nest in which they were 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; La 4:22 [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 the parallel clause of the
same sense, "daughters of Moab."
Maurer, &c., regard these verses as
an address of the fugitive Moabites to the Jews for protection; they
translate Isa 16:4,
"Let mine outcasts of Moab dwell with thee, Judah"; the
protection will be refused by the Jews, for the pride of Moab
16:6). Vitringa makes it an additional advice to
Moab, besides paying tribute. Give shelter to the Jewish outcasts
who take refuge in thy land (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 conciliate Judah by sheltering its
outcasts (Isa 16:6);
therefore judgment shall be executed. However, as Moab just before is
represented as itself an outcast in Idumea, it seems incongruous
that it should be called on to shelter Jewish outcasts. So that
it seems rather to foretell the ruined state of Moab when its people
should beg the Jews for shelter, but be refused for their
make … shadow as … night … in
… noonday—emblem of a thick shelter from the glaring
noonday 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 probably.
is at an end—By the time that Moab
begs Judah for shelter, Judah shall be in a condition to afford it,
for the Assyrian oppressor shall have been "consumed out of the
5. If Judah shelters the suppliant Moab,
allowing him to remain in Idumea, a blessing will redound to Judah
itself and its "throne."
truth … judgment …
righteousness—language so divinely framed as to apply to "the
latter days" 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.
not be so—rather, "not right"; shall
prove vain (Isa 25:10; Jer 48:29, 30; Zep 2:8). "It shall not be 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" alone are left (Isa 58:12). Jeremiah, in the parallel place
48:31), renders it "men," who
are the moral foundations or stay of a city.
Kirhareseth—literally, "a citadel of
surely they are stricken—rather,
joined with "mourn"; "Ye shall mourn utterly stricken" [Maurer and Horsley].
8. fields—vine-fields (De 32:32).
vine of Sibmah—near Heshbon: namely,
lords of … heathen—The heathen
princes, the Assyrians, &c., who invaded Moab, destroyed his vines.
So Jeremiah in the parallel place (Jer 48:32, 33). Maurer
thinks the following words require rather the rendering, "Its (the vine
of Sibmah) shoots (the wines got from them) overpowered (by its
generous flavor and potency) the lords of the nations" (Ge 49:11, 12,
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 of Jazer"; but see on Jer 48:32
9. I—will bewail for its desolation,
though I belong to another nation (see on Isa
with … weeping of Jazer—as Jazer
shouting for … fallen—rather,
"Upon thy summer fruits and upon thy luxuriant vines the
shouting (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 substantially express 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 vintage
owing 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; compare Ex 23:15), when he is weary (that is, when
he shall have fatigued himself with observing burdensome rites; 1Ki 18:26, &c.), on the high place
(compare Isa 15:2),
and shall come to his sanctuary (of the idol Chemosh on Mount
Nebo) to pray, he shall not prevail"; he shall effect nothing by his
13. since that time—rather, "respecting
that time" [Horsley]. Barnes translates it, "formerly" in contrast
to "but now" (Isa 16:14):
heretofore former prophecies (Ex 15:15; Nu 21:29) have been given as to Moab, of which
Isaiah has given the substance: but now a definite and steady
time also is fixed.
14. three years … hireling—Just as
a hireling has his fixed term of engagement, which neither he nor his
master will allow to be added to or to be taken from, so the limit
within which Moab is to fall is unalterably fixed (Isa 21:16). Fulfilled about the time when the
Assyrians led Israel into captivity. The ruins of Elealeh, Heshbon,
Medeba, Dibon, &c., still exist to confirm the inspiration of
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.