Verse 14. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave" - In their captivity they are represented as dead and buried, which is a similar view to that taken of the Jews in the Babylonish captivity by Ezek. in his vision of the valley of dry bones. They are now lost as to the purpose for which they were made, for which God had wrought so many miracles for them and for their ancestors; but the gracious purpose of God shall not be utterly defeated. He will bring them out of that grave, and ransom them from that death; for as they have deserved that death and disgraceful burial, they must be redeemed and ransomed from it, or still lie under it.
And who can do this but God himself? And he will do it. In the prospect of this the prophet exclaims, in the person of the universal Redeemer, "O death, I will be thy plagues;" I will bring into thy reign the principle of its destruction. The Prince of life shall lie for a time under thy power, that he may destroy that power.
"O grave, I will be thy destruction" - I will put an end to thy dreary domination by rising from the dead, and bringing life and immortality to life by my Gospel, and by finally raising from the death the whole human race in the day of the general resurrection.
lwa sheol, which we translate grave, is the state of the dead. twm maveth, which we translate death, is the principle of corruption that renders the body unfit to be longer the tenement of the soul, and finally decomposes it. Sheol shall be destroyed, for it must deliver up all its dead.
Maveth shall be annihilated, for the body shall be raised incorruptible. See the use which the apostle makes of this passage, 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55; but he does not quote from the Hebrew, nor from any of the ancient versions. He had to apply the subject anew; and the Spirit, which had originally given the words, chose to adapt them to the subject then in hand, which was the resurrection of the dead in the last day. Instead of ūyrbd debareycha, thy plagues, one of my oldest MSS., ninety-six of Kennicott's and thirty-two of De Rossi's, have ūrbd debarcha, thy plague, that which shall carry thee off, as the plague does them who are affected by it. To carry off, carry away, is one of the regular meanings of the verb rbd dabar.
"Repentance shall be hid from mine eyes." - On these points I will not change my purpose; this is the signification of repentance when attributed to God.
Verse 15. "Though he be fruitful" - ayrpy yaphri; a paronomasia on the word µyrpa ephrayim, which comes from the same root hrp parah, to be fruitful, to sprout, to bud.
"An east wind shall come" - As the east wind parches and blasts all vegetation, so shall Shalmaneser blast and destroy the Israelitish state.
Verse 16. "Samaria shall become desolate" - This was the capital of the Israelitish kingdom. What follows is a simple prophetic declaration of the cruelties which should be exercised upon this hapless people by the Assyrians in the sackage of the city.