The thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth chapters form one prophecy, the
former part of which denounces God's judgment against His people's
enemies, of whom Edom is the representative; the second part, of the
flourishing state of the Church consequent on those judgments. This
forms the termination of the prophecies of the first part of Isaiah (the
thirty-sixth through thirty-ninth chapters being historical) and is a
kind of summary of what went before, setting forth the one main truth,
Israel shall be delivered from all its foes, and happier times
shall succeed under Messiah.
1. All creation is summoned to hear God's judgments
Mic 6:1, 2),
for they set forth His glory, which is the end of creation
(Re 15:3; 4:11).
that come forth of it--answering to "all that is therein"; or
Hebrew, "all whatever fills it," Margin.
2. utterly destroyed--rather, "doomed them to an utter curse"
3. cast out--unburied
melted--washed away as with a descending torrent.
Joe 2:31; 3:15;
Violent convulsions of nature are in Scripture made the images
of great changes in the human world
and shall literally accompany them at the winding up of the
scroll--Books were in those days sheets of parchment rolled together
fall down--The stars shall fall when the heavens in which they are
fixed pass away.
Or else, knife for sacrifice for God does not here appear as a
warrior with His sword, but as one about to sacrifice victims doomed to
bathed--rather "intoxicated," namely, with anger (so
"In heaven" implies the place where God's purpose of wrath is
formed in antithesis to its "coming down" in the next clause.
Idumea--originally extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea;
afterwards they obtained possession of the country east of Moab, of
which Bozrah was capital. Petra or Selah, called Joktheel
was capital of South Edom (see on
David subjugated Edom
(2Sa 8:13, 14).
Under Jehoram they regained independence
Under Amaziah they were again subdued, and Selah taken
When Judah was captive in Babylon, Edom, in every way, insulted over
her fallen mistress, killed many of those Jews whom the Chaldeans had
left, and hence was held guilty of fratricide by God (Esau, their
ancestor, having been brother to Jacob): this was the cause of the
denunciations of the prophets against Edom
Eze 25:12-14; 35:3-15;
Am 1:11, 12;
Ob 8, 10, 12-18;
Nebuchadnezzar humbled Idumea accordingly
of my curse--that is, doomed to it.
to judgment--that is, to execute it.
6. filled--glutted. The image of a sacrifice is continued.
blood . . . fat--the parts especially devoted to God in a sacrifice
lambs . . . goats--sacrificial animals: the Idumeans, of all
classes, doomed to slaughter, are meant
Bozrah--called Bostra by the Romans, &c., assigned in
to Moab, so that it seems to have been at one time in the dominion of
Edom, and at another in that of Moab
Jer 49:13, 20, 22);
it was strictly not in Edom, but the capital of Auranitis (the
Houran). Edom seems to have extended its dominion so as to
include it (compare
7. unicorns--Hebrew, reem: conveying the idea of loftiness,
power, and pre-eminence (see on
in the Bible. At one time the image in the term answers to a reality in
nature; at another it symbolizes an abstraction. The rhinoceros was the
original type. The Arab rim is two-horned: it was the oryx (the
leucoryx, antelope, bold and pugnacious); but when accident or
artifice deprived it of one horn, the notion of the unicorn arose. Here
is meant the portion of the Edomites which was strong and warlike.
come down--rather, "fall down," slain [LOWTH].
with them--with the "lambs and goats," the less powerful Edomites
bullocks . . . bulls--the young and old Edomites: all classes.
8. recompenses for the controversy of Zion--that is, the year when
God will retaliate on those who have contended with Zion. Her
controversy is His. Edom had thought to extend its borders by laying
hold of its neighbor's lands and has instigated Babylon to cruelty
towards fallen Judah
therefore Edom shall suffer the same herself
(La 4:21, 22).
The final winding up of the controversy between God and all enemies of
Him and His people is also foreshadowed
Mal 4:1, 3;
2Th 1:7, 8, 9;
Re 11:18; 18:20; 19:2).
9. Images from the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah
Jer 49:17, 18).
10. It--The burning pitch, &c.
smoke . . . for ever--
generation to generation--
none . . . pass through--Edom's original offense was:
they would not let Israel pass through their land in peace to
Canaan: God recompenses them in kind, no traveller shall pass
through Edom. VOLNEY, the infidel, was forced
to confirm the truth of this prophecy: "From the reports of the Arabs,
southeast of the Dead Sea, within three days' journey are
upwards of thirty ruined towns, absolutely deserted."
11. cormorant--The Hebrew is rendered, in
"pelican," which is a seafowl, and cannot be meant here: some waterfowl
(katta, according to BURCKHARDT) that
tenants desert places is intended.
bittern--rather, "the hedgehog," or "porcupine"
owl--from its being enumerated among water birds in
MAURER thinks rather the heron or crane is meant;
from a Hebrew root, "to blow," as it utters a sound like the
blowing of a horn
line . . . stones--metaphor from an architect with line and
plummet-stone (see on
God will render to it the exact measure of justice without mercy
Am 7:7, 8).
emptiness--desolation. Edom is now a waste of "stones."
12. Rather, "As to her nobles, there shall be none there who
shall declare a kingdom," that is, a king [MAURER]; or else, "There shall be no one there whom they
shall call to the kingdom" [ROSENMULLER]
&c.). Idumea was at first governed by dukes
out of them the king wan chosen when the constitution became a
13. dragons--(See on
court for owls--rather, "a dwelling for ostriches."
14. wild beasts of the desert . . . island--rather,
"wild cats . . . jackals"
screech owl--rather, "the night specter"; in Jewish superstition a
female, elegantly dressed, that carried off children by night. The text
does not assert the existence of such objects of superstition, but
describes the place as one which superstition would people with such
15. great owl--rather, "the arrow snake," so called from its darting
on its prey [GESENIUS].
gather under her shadow--rather, "cherishes" her young under, &c.
16. book of the Lord--the volume in which the various prophecies and
other parts of Scripture began henceforward to be collected together
Isa 8:16, 20;
Joh 5:39; 7:52).
no one . . . fail--of these prophecies
none shall want . . . mate--image from pairing of animals
("mate"); no prediction shall want a fulfilment as its companion. Or
rather, "none of these wild animals (just spoken of) shall be wanting:
none shall be without its mate" to pair and breed with, in desolate
my . . . his--Such changes of person are frequent in
them--the wild beasts.
17. cast . . . lot--As conquerors apportion lands by lot, so Jehovah
has appointed and marked out ("divided") Edom for the wild beasts
(Nu 26:55, 56;