Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

1. A Rebellious Nation

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

5Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 7Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

10Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

16Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

21How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. 22Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: 23Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. 24Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

25And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: 26And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 27Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

28And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed. 29For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. 30For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. 31And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

26. And I will restore thy judges as at the first He now speaks without a figure; and having said that the source and origin of the evils was in the princes, he shows that a divine hand will purify that rank, when the Lord shall be pleased to restore the Church to perfect health. And, indeed, when they who rule are good and holy men, public order is maintained; for when wicked men have power, everything goes to ruin. By judges and counsellors are evidently meant any kind of magistrates; and when he promises that they will be such as they were at the beginning, he brings to their remembrance the extraordinary goodness of God, of which they had been deprived. God had graciously raised up the throne of David, and in that government was pleased to give a bright resemblance of his own parental love. Though the authority of the family of David had degenerated into the grossest tyranny, yet they continued to boast of a false title; for they still vaunted of the reign of David in the same manner as the papists of the present day plume themselves on a false pretense of the Church. Justly, therefore, are the people reminded of the happiness from which they had fallen by their own fault, that they might not be displeased at a diminution of their numbers, by means of which they would again possess that order which God had established

Then shalt thou be called He describes the fruit of that reformation, of which he has spoken, as extending to the whole body; for, having said that Jerusalem, before she revolted from God, was a faithful city, full of righteousness, the Prophet now says, that when she shall have been chastised the same virtues will be illustriously displayed in her. Here, too, is expressed the sum of true repentance; for by righteousness is meant uprightness, when every man obtains what belongs to him, and men live with each other without committing injury. The word faithful has a still more extensive meaning; for when a city is called faithful, it means not only that justice and honesty between man and man are observed, but that the purity of God’s worship is maintained and therefore the chastity and purity of the mind are included under that designation.

It must also be observed, however, that from this faithfulness springs justice; for when we adhere to truth in our mutual intercourse, justice easily gains the ascendency. And, indeed, when I closely examine the whole passage, I think that the Prophet now employs the word faithfulness in a more limited sense than formerly, and connects the two virtues as leading to the same object, so that, while truth goes first as the cause, justice is the effect of it. Isaiah promises not only that she will be righteous and faithful, but that she will also be distinguished by these commendations; by which he means that the knowledge or reputation of it will be everywhere diffused. We know that hypocrites, too, are adorned with honorable titles; but Isaiah, having introduced God as speaking, takes for granted that the city will actually be righteous, as it is foretold that she shall be. In the meantime, as I have said, he describes the fruit of a true conversion; as if he had said,” When Jerusalem shall be brought Jack to true godliness, men will be persuaded that she is renewed.”


VIEWNAME is study