Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
RESUMPTION OF THE
UNREFORMED BY THE
BE IN THE
1. filthy--MAURER translates from a different root, "rebellious,"
"contumacious." But the following term, "polluted," refers rather to her
inward moral filth, in spite of her outward ceremonial purity
GROTIUS says, the Hebrew is used of women who have
prostituted their virtue. There is in the Hebrew Moreah; a play on
the name Moriah, the hill on which the temple was built; implying
the glaring contrast between their filthiness and the holiness of
the worship on Moriah in which they professed to have a share.
oppressing--namely, the poor, weak, widows, orphans and strangers
2. received not correction--Jerusalem is incurable, obstinately
rejecting salutary admonition, and refusing to be reformed by
trusted not in . . . Lord--Distrust in the Lord as if He were
insufficient, is the parent of all superstitions and wickednesses
drew not near to her God--Though God was specially near to her
as "her God," yet she drew not near to Him, but gratuitously estranged
herself from Him.
3. roaring--for prey
evening wolves--which are most ravenous at evening after being foodless
they gnaw not the bones till the morrow--rather, "they put not off till
to-morrow to gnaw the bones"; but devour all at once, bones and flesh,
so ragingly ravenous are they [CALVIN].
4. light--in whose life and teaching there is no truth, gravity, or
treacherous--false to Jehovah, whose prophets they profess to be
polluted . . . sanctuary--by their profane deeds.
5-7. The Jews regard not God's justice manifested in the midst of them,
nor His judgments on the guilty nations around.
The just Lord--Why then are ye so unjust?
is in the midst thereof--He retorts on them their own boast, "Is not
the Lord among us"
True He is, but it is for another end from what ye think [CALVIN]; namely, to lead you by the example of His
righteousness to be righteous.
"Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy" [MAURER]. But CALVIN, "That ye may
feel His hand to be the nearer for taking vengeance for your
crimes: 'He will not do iniquity' by suffering your sins to go
every morning--literally, "morning by morning." The time in the sultry
East for dispensing justice.
bring . . . to light--publicly and manifestly by the teaching of His
prophets, which aggravates their guilt; also by samples of His judgments
on the guilty.
he faileth not--He is continually setting before you samples of His
justice, sparing no pains. Compare
Isa 5:4; 50:4,
"he wakeneth morning by morning."
knoweth no shame--The unjust Jews are not shamed by His justice into
6. I had hoped that My people by My judgments on other nations would
be led to amendment; but they are not, so blinded by sin are they.
towers--literally, "angles" or "corners"; hence the towers built
at the angles of their city walls. Under Josiah's long and peaceful
reign the Jews were undisturbed, while the great incursion of Scythians
into Western Asia took place. The judgment on the ten tribes in a former
reign also is here alluded to.
7. I said, Surely, &c.--God speaks after the manner of men in
condescension to man's infirmity; not as though God was ignorant of the
future contingency, but in their sense, Surely one might have expected ye would under such circumstances repent: but no!
thou--at least, O Jerusalem! Compare "thou, even thou, at least
in this thy day"
their dwelling--the sanctuary
[BUXTORF]. Or, the city. Compare
"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate"
(Le 26:31, 32;
and used as to the temple
"Their" is used instead of "thy"; this change of person implies that
God puts them to a greater distance.
howsoever I punished them--Howsoever I might have punished them,
I would not have cut off their dwelling. CALVIN, "Howsoever I had marked them out for punishment"
because of their provocations, still, if even then they had repented,
taught by My corrections, I was ready to have pardoned them. MAURER, "Altogether in accordance with what I had long
ago decreed (ordained) concerning you"
and, on the other hand,
De 28:15-68; 27:15-26).
English Version, or CALVIN'S view, is
rose early, and corrupted, &c.--Early morning is in the East the best
time for transacting serious business, before the relaxing heat of
midday comes on. Thus it means, With the greatest earnestness they set
themselves to "corrupt all their doings"
Jer 11:7; 25:3).
8. wait ye upon me--Here Jehovah turns to the pious Jews. Amidst all
these judgments on the Jewish nation, look forward to the glorious time
of restoration to be ushered in by God's precious outpouring of wrath on
where the same phrase, "blessed are all they that wait for Him,"
is used as to the same great event. CALVIN
erroneously makes this verse an address to the ungodly; and so MAURER, "Ye shall not have to wait for Me in vain"; I
will presently come armed with indignation: I will no longer contend
with you by My prophets.
until the day--that is, waiting for the day
rise up to the prey--like a savage beast rising from his lair, greedy
for the prey (compare
Or rather, as a warrior leading Israel to certain victory, which
is expressed by "the prey," or booty, which is the reward of
victory. The Septuagint and Syriac versions read the
Hebrew, "I rise up as a witness" (compare
Jehovah being in this view witness, accuser, and judge.
English Version is better (compare
gather the nations--against Jerusalem
to pour out His indignation upon them there
Zec 12:2, 3).
9. For--The blessed things promised in this and
are the immediate results of the punishment inflicted on the nations,
turn to the people a pure language--that is, changing
their impure language I will give to them again a pure
language (literally, "lip"). Compare for this Hebrew idiom,
Margin. The confusion of languages was of the penalty sin,
probably idolatry at Babel
Margin, where also "lip" expresses language, and perhaps
"a tower whose top may reach unto heaven," or rather, points
to heaven, namely, dedicated to the heavens idolized, or
Bel); certainly, of rebellion against God's will. An earnest of the
removal of this penalty was the gift of tongues on Pentecost
The full restoration of the earth's unity of language and of worship is
yet future, and is connected with the restoration of the Jews, to be
followed by the conversion of the world. Compare
"with one mind and one mouth glorify God." The Gentiles'
lips have been rendered impure through being the instruments of
calling on idols and dishonoring God (compare
Whether Hebrew shall be the one universal language or not, the
God of the Hebrews shall be the one only object of worship. Until the
Holy Ghost purify the lips, we cannot rightly call upon God
serve him with one consent--literally, "shoulder" or "back";
metaphor from a yoke, or burden, borne between two
helping one another with conjoint effort. If one of the two bearers of
a burden, laid on both conjointly, give way, the burden must fall to
the earth [CALVIN]. Christ's rule is called a
for the same image).
10. From beyond . . . Ethiopia my suppliants--literally, "burners of
Re 5:8; 8:3, 4).
The Israelites are meant, called "the daughter of My dispersed," a
Hebrew idiom for My dispersed people. "The rivers of
Ethiopia" are those which enclose it on the north. In the west of
Abyssinia there has long existed a people called Falashas, or
"emigrants" (akin to the synonym "Philistine"). These trace their
origin to Palestine and profess the Jewish religion. In physical traits
they resemble the Arabs. When Bruce was there, they had a Jewish king,
Gideon, and his queen, Judith. Probably the Abyssinian Christians were
originally in part converted Jews. They are here made the
representatives of all Israel which is to be restored.
shall bring mine offering--that is, the offering that is
My right. I prefer, with DE
WETTE and Chaldee Version, making
"suppliants" the objective case, not the nominative. The peoples:
(Zep 3:8, 9),
brought to fear Me by My judgments, "shall bring as Mine offering My
suppliants (an appropriate term for the Jews, on whom then there shall
have been poured the spirit of supplications,
the daughter of My dispersed." So
"they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the
Lord." Compare HORSLEY'S view of
Isa 18:1, 2, 7.
England in this view may be the naval power to restore Israel to
The Hebrew for "Ethiopia" is Cush, which may include not
only Ethiopia, but also the region of the Tigris and Babylon, where
Nimrod, Cush's son
founded Nineveh and acquired Babylon, and where the ten tribes are
mentioned as being scattered
(1Pe 1:1; 5:13;
The restoration under Cyrus of the Jews transported under Pharaoh-necho
to Egypt and Ethiopia, was an earnest of the future restoration under
11. shalt thou not be ashamed--Thou shalt then have no cause to be
ashamed; for I will then take away out of the midst of thee those
who by their sins gave thee cause for shame
them that rejoice in thy pride--those priding themselves
on that which thou boastest of, thy temple ("My holy mountain"),
thy election as God's people, &c., in the Pharisaic spirit
"mine eyes shall weep for your pride." The converted remnant
shall be of a humble spirit
Isa 66:2, 10).
12. afflicted . . . they shall trust in . . . Lord--the blessed effect
of sanctified affliction on the Jewish remnant. Entire trust in the Lord
cannot be, except where all cause for boasting is taken away
13. nor speak lies--worshipping God in truth, and towards man
having love without dissimulation. The characteristic of the 144,000
sealed of Israel.
none shall make them afraid--either foreign foe, or unjust prince
prophet, or priest
14. The prophet in mental vision sees the joyful day of Zion present,
and bids her rejoice at it.
15. The cause for joy: "The Lord hath taken away thy judgments,"
namely, those sent by Him upon thee. After the taking away of sin
follows the taking away of trouble. When the cause is removed, the
effect will cease. Happiness follows in the wake of holiness.
the Lord is in the midst of thee--Though He seemed to desert thee
for a time, He is now present as thy safeguard
not see evil any more--Thou shalt not experience it
(Jer 5:12; 44:17).
16. Let not thine hands be slack--
Do not faint in the work of the Lord.
17. he will rest in his love--content with it as His supreme delight
Lu 15:7, 10)
(Isa 62:5; 65:19).
Or, He shall be silent, namely as to thy faults, not imputing
them to thee [MAURER]
I prefer explaining it of that calm silent joy in the possession
of the object of one's love, too great for words to express: just as
God after the six days of creation rested with silent
satisfaction in His work, for "behold it was very good"
(Ge 1:31; 2:2).
So the parallel clause by contrast expresses the joy, not kept silent
as this, but uttered in "singing."
18. sorrowful for the solemn assembly--pining after the solemn assembly
which they cannot celebrate in exile
(La 1:4; 2:6).
who are of thee--that is, of thy true citizens; and whom therefore I
to whom the reproach of it was a burden--that is, to whom
thy reproach ("the reproach of My people,"
their ignominious captivity) was a burden. "Of it" is put of
thee, as the person is often changed. Those who shared in the
burden of reproach which fell on My people. Compare
"the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the
19. undo--MAURER translates, "I will deal
with," that is, as they deserve. Compare
where the Hebrew is similarly translated. The destruction of
Israel's foes precedes Israel's restoration
(Isa 66:15, 16).
her that halteth--all that are helpless. Their weakness will be no
barrier in the way of My restoring them. So in
Margin, "halting" is used for adversity. Also
Mic 4:6, 7.
I will get them praise, &c.--literally, "I will make them (to become)
a praise and a name," &c.
20. make you a name . . . praise--make you to become celebrated and
turn back your captivity--bring back your captives
Hebrew is plural, "captivities"; to express the captivities of
different ages of their history, as well as the diversity of places in
which they were and are dispersed.
before your eyes--Incredible as the event may seem, your own eyes with delight shall see it. You will scarcely believe it for joy, but the
testimony of your own eyes shall convince you of the delightful reality