- The glory of the Lord, verse 1-4.
- Isaiah is terrified, verse 5.
- Is confirmed for his message, verse 6-8.
- The people's obstinacy unto desolation, verse 9-12.
- A remnant shall be saved, verse 13.
I saw - In a vision. The Lord - The Divine Majesty as he subsisteth in three persons. His train - His royal and judicial robe; for he is represented as a judge.
Stood - As ministers attending upon their Lord. Seraphim - An order of holy angels, thus called from fire and burning, which this word properly signifies; to represent either their nature, which is bright and glorious, subtile, and pure; or their property, of fervent zeal for God's service and glory. Covered - Out of profound reverence.
Cried - Singing in consort. Holy - This is repeated thrice, to intimate the Trinity of persons united in the Divine essence. Glory - Of the effects and demonstrations of his glorious holiness, as well as of his power, wisdom, and goodness.
The posts - Together with the door itself. Such violent motions were commonly tokens of God's anger. Smoak - Which elsewhere is a token of God's presence and acceptance, but here of his anger.
l am - I am a great sinner, as many other ways, so particularly by my lips. I am an unclean branch of an unclean tree; besides my own uncleanness, I have both by my omissions and commissions involved myself in the guilt of their sins. Have seen - The sight of this glorious and holy God gives me cause to fear that he is come to judgment against me.
Flew - By God's command. A coal - Both a token and an instrument of purification. The altar - Of burnt-offering.
Laid it - So as only to touch my lips, and not to burn them; which God could easily effect. Lo - This is a sign that I have pardoned and purged the uncleanness of thy lips.
Who - To deliver the following message. The change of the number, I and us, is very remarkable; and both being meant of one and the same Lord, do sufficiently intimate a plurality of persons in the Godhead.
Perceive not - The Hebrew words are imperative; yet they are not to be taken as a command what the people ought to do, but only as a prediction what they would do. The sense is, because you have so long heard my words, and seen my works, to no purpose, and have hardened your hearts, and will not learn nor reform, I will punish you in your own kind, your sin shall be your punishment. I will still continue my word and works to you, but will withdraw my Spirit, so that you shall be as unable, as now you are unwilling, to understand.
Fat - Stupid and senseless. This making of their hearts fat, is here ascribed to the prophet, as it is ascribed to God in the repetition of this prophecy, John 12:40, because God inflicted this judgment upon them by the ministry of the prophet, partly by way of prediction, foretelling that this would be the effect of his preaching; and partly by withdrawing the light and help of his Spirit. Heavy - Make them dull of hearing. Lest - That they may not be able, as before they were not willing to see. Convert - Turn to God.
Lord - An abrupt speech, arising from the prophet's great passion and astonishment: how long shall this dreadful judgment last? Until - Until this land be totally destroyed, first by the Babylonians, and afterward by the Romans.
Removed - Hath caused this people to be carried away captive into far countries. A forsaking - 'Till houses and lands be generally forsaken of their owners.
A tenth - A small remnant reserved, that number being put indefinitely. Return - Out of the Babylonish captivity, into their own land. Eaten - That remnant shall be devoured a second time, by the kings of Syria, and afterwards by the Romans. Yet - Yet there shall be another remnant, not such an one as that which came out of Babylon, but an holy seed, who shall afterwards look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn over him. When - Who when their leaves are cast in winter, have a substance within themselves, a vital principle, which preserves life in the root of the tree, and in due time sends it forth into all the branches. The support - Of the land or people, which, were it not for the sake of these, should be finally rooted out.