Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. The inscription.
The word--the revelation.
2. Same as
As Micah prophesied in Jotham's reign, and Isaiah in Uzziah's, Micah
rests on Isaiah, whom he confirms: not vice versa. HENGSTENBERG on slight grounds makes
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 the converted nations
shall flock together
Lu 2:31, 32;
Ac 1:6, 7);
where "the kingdom" of Israel 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 the Gospel, beginning at
Jerusalem, and, like an object set on the highest hill,
made so conspicuous that all nations are attracted to it.
flow--as a broad stream
3. If the curse foretold against Israel has been literally
fulfilled, so shall the promised blessing be literal. We Gentiles must
not, while giving them the curse, deny them their peculiar blessing by
spiritualizing it. The Holy Ghost shall be poured out for a general conversion then
Zec 8:21, 23;
an earnest of the future relations of Jerusalem to Christendom
(Ro 11:12, 15).
4. judge--as a sovereign umpire, settling all controversies (compare
LOWTH translates "work," "conviction."
plowshares--in the East resembling a short sword
(Isa 9:6, 7;
5. The connection is: As Israel's high destiny is to be a blessing
to all nations
let Israel's children walk worthy of it
6. Therefore--rather, "For": reasons why there is the more need of
the exhortation in
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.
Philistines--southwest of Palestine: antithesis to "the east."
please themselves--rather, join hands with, that is, enter into
alliances, matrimonial and national: forbidden
7. gold--forbidden to be heaped together
(1Ki 10:21, 27).
horses . . . chariots--forbidden
But Solomon disobeyed
Horses could be used effectively for war in the plains of Egypt; not so
in the hilly Judea. God designed there should be as wide as possible a
distinction between Israel and the Egyptians. He would have His people
wholly dependent on Him, rather than on the ordinary means of warfare
Also horses were connected with idolatry
hence His objection: so the transition to "idols"
Not so much public idolatry, which was not sanctioned in Uzziah's and
Jotham's reign, but (see
2Ki 15:4, 35)
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's will, that he prays for that which he
knows God purposes. So
10. Poetical form of expressing that, such were their sins, they
would be obliged by God's judgments to seek a hiding-place from His
(Re 6:15, 16).
dust--equivalent to "caves of the earth," or dust
for fear, &c.--literally, "from the face of the terror of the Lord."
11. lofty looks--literally, "eyes of pride"
humbled--by calamities. God will so vindicate His honor "in that
day" of judgments, that none else "shall be exalted"
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
every--not merely person, as English Version explains it,
but every thing on which the nation prided itself.
13. cedars . . . oaks--image for haughty nobles and princes
Zec 11:1, 2;
Bashan--east of Jordan, north of the river Jabbok, famous for fine
oaks, pasture, and cattle. Perhaps in "oaks" there is reference to their
14. high . . . hills--referring to the "high places" on which
sacrifices were unlawfully offered, even in Uzziah's (equivalent to Azariah)
Also, places of strength, fastnesses in which they trusted,
rather than in God; so
15. tower . . . wall--Towers were often made on the walls of
16. Tarshish--Tartessus in southwest Spain, at the mouth
of the Guadalquivir, near Gibraltar. It includes the adjoining region:
a Phœnician colony; hence its connection with Palestine and the
The name was also used in a wide sense for the farthest west, as
our West Indies
Ps 48:7; 72:10).
"Ships of Tarshish" became a phrase for richly laden and
far-voyaging vessels. The judgment shall be on all that minister
to man's luxury (compare
pictures--ordered to be destroyed
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 possession of "the living oracles," has
left none of the former. The fine arts, as in modern Rome, were so
often associated with polytheism, that God required His people in this,
as in other respects, to be separate from the nations
But Vulgate translation is perhaps better, "All that is
beautiful to the sight"; not only paintings, but all luxurious
ornaments. One comprehensive word for all that goes before (compare
Re 18:12, 14, 16).
17. Repeated from
for emphatic confirmation.
18. idols--literally, "vain things," "nothings"
Fulfilled to the letter. Before the Babylonian captivity the Jews
were most prone to idolatry; in no instance, ever since. For the
future fulfilment, see
Re 13:15; 19:20.
19. The fulfilment answers exactly to the threat
caves--abounding in Judea, a hilly country; hiding-places in times
shake . . . earth--and the heavens also
Figure for severe and universal judgments.
20. moles--Others translate "mice." The sense is, under ground, in darkness.
living amidst tenantless ruins
22. The high ones
(Isa 2:11, 13)
on whom the people trust, shall be "brought low"
therefore "cease from" depending on them, instead of on the Lord