their plea was, "we are all Thy people." In answer, God declares that
others (Gentiles) would be taken into covenant with Him, while
His ancient people would be rejected. The Jews were slow to believe
this; hence Paul says
that Isaiah was "very bold" in advancing so unpopular a sentiment; he
implies what Paul states
(Ro 2:28; 9:6, 7; 11:1-31),
that "they are not all (in opposition to the Jews' plea,
Israel which are of Israel." God's reason for so severely dealing with
Israel is not changeableness in Him, but sin in them
Yet the whole nation shall not be destroyed, but only the wicked; a
remnant shall be saved
(Isa 65:8-10, 11-16).
There shall be, finally, universal blessedness to Israel, such as they
had prayed for
1. I am sought--Hebrew, "I have granted access unto Me to
them," &c. (so
"Should I be inquired of";
renders this, "I was made manifest." As an instance of the sentiment in
the clause, "I am sought," &c., see
of the sentiment in this clause,
Compare as to the Gentile converts,
Eph 2:12, 13.
nation . . . not called by my name--that is, the Gentiles. God retorts
in their own words
that their plea as being exclusively "called by His name" will not
avail, for God's gospel invitation is not so exclusive
(Ro 9:25; 1:16).
2. spread out . . . hands--inviting them earnestly
all . . . day--continually, late and early
rebellious people--Israel, whose rebellion was the occasion of God's
turning to the Gentiles
(Ro 11:11, 12, 15).
way . . . not good--that is, the very reverse of good, very bad
3. continually--answering to "all the day"
God was continually inviting them, and they continually
to my face--They made no attempt to hide their sin
Compare "before Me"
in gardens--(See on
altars of brick--Hebrew, "bricks." God had commanded His altars
to be of unhewn stone
This was in order to separate them, even in external respects,
from idolaters; also, as all chiselling was forbidden, they could not
inscribe superstitious symbols on them as the heathen did. Bricks were
more easily so inscribed than stone; hence their use for the cuneiform
inscriptions at Babylon, and also for idolatrous altars. Some, not so
well, have supposed that the "bricks" here mean the flat brick-paved
roofs of houses on which they sacrificed to the sun, &c.
4. remain among . . . graves--namely, for purposes of necromancy, as
if to hold converse with the dead
(Isa 8:19, 20;
or, for the sake of purifications, usually performed at night among
sepulchres, to appease the manes [MAURER].
monuments--Hebrew, "pass the night in hidden recesses," either
the idol's inmost shrines ("consecrated precincts")
they used to sleep, in order to have divine communications in dreams
[JEROME]; or better, on account of the parallel "graves,"
sepulchral caves [MAURER].
eat swine's flesh--To eat it at all was contrary to God's law
but it much increased their guilt that they ate it in idolatrous
VARRO (On Agriculture, 2.4) says that swine
were first used in sacrifices; the Latins sacrificed a pig to Ceres; it
was also offered on occasion of treaties and marriages.
broth--so called from the "pieces" (Margin) or fragments of
bread over which the broth was poured
[GESENIUS]; such broth, made of
swine's flesh, offered in sacrifice, was thought to be especially
acceptable to the idol and was used in magic rites. Or, "fragments
(pieces) of abominable foods," &c. This fourth clause explains more
fully the third, as the second does the first [MAURER].
is in--rather, literally, "is their vessels," that is, constitute
their vessels' contents. The Jews, in our Lord's days, and ever since
the return from Babylon, have been free from idolatry; still the imagery
from idolatrous abominations, as being the sin most loathsome in God's
eyes and that most prevalent in Isaiah's time, is employed to describe
the foul sin of Israel in all ages, culminating in their killing
Messiah, and still rejecting Him.
Lu 5:30; 18:11;
Applicable to the hypocritical self-justifiers of our Lord's time.
smoke--alluding to the smoke of their self-righteous sacrifices;
the fire of God's wrath was kindled at the sight, and exhibited
itself in the smoke that breathed forth from His nostrils; in
Hebrew the nose is the seat of anger; and the nostrils distended
in wrath, as it were, breathe forth smoke [ROSENMULLER]
6. written before me--"it is decreed by Me," namely, what follows
[MAURER]; or, their guilt is recorded before Me
into . . . bosom--
The Orientals used the loose fold of the garment falling on "the bosom"
or lap, as a receptacle for carrying things. The sense thus is: I will
repay their sin so abundantly that the hand will not be able to
receive it; it will need the spacious fold on the bosom to
contain it [ROSENMULLER]. Rather it is, "I will
repay it to the very person from whom it has emanated." Compare
"God did render the evil of the men of Shechem upon their heads"
7. Their sin had been accumulating from age to age until God at last
repaid it in full.
Eze 18:6; 20:27, 28;
their--"Your" had preceded. From speaking to, He speaks of them; this implies growing alienation from them and greater distance.
work--the full recompense of their work (so
8. new wine--as if some grapes having good wine-producing juice in them, be
found in a cluster which the vinedresser was about to throw away as
bad, and one saith, &c.
blessing--that is, good wine-producing juice (compare
so--God will spare the godly "remnant," while the ungodly mass of
the nation shall be destroyed
(Isa 1:9; 6:13; 10:21; 11:11, 12-16).
my servants--the godly remnant. But HORSLEY, "for the sake of my
9. seed--"the holy seed"
a posterity from Jacob, designed to repossess the Holy Land, forfeited
by the sin of the former Jews.
my mountains--Jerusalem and the rest of Judea, peculiarly God's
Isa 2:2; 11:9; 14:32).
it--the Holy Land.
(Isa 65:15, 22).
10. Sharon--(See on
Achor--meaning "trouble"; a valley near Jericho, so called from the
trouble caused to Israel by Achan's sin
"The valley of Achor," proverbial for whatever caused calamity, shall
become proverbial for joy and prosperity
11. holy mountain--Moriah, on which the temple was.
troop--rather "Gad," the Babylonian god of fortune, the planet Jupiter,
answering to Baal or Bel; the Arabs called it "the Greater Good
Fortune"; and the planet Venus answering to Meni, "the Lesser Good
KIMCHI, &c.]. Tables were laid out for their idols
with all kinds of viands, and a cup containing a mixture of wine and
honey, in Egypt especially, on the last day of the year
drink offering--rather, "mixed drink."
number--rather, "Meni"; as goddess of fortune she was thought to
number the fates of men. VITRINGA understands Gad to be the sun;
Meni the moon, or Ashtaroth or Astarte
12. number--"doom" you. Alluding to the "number," as Meni
means. Retribution in kind, the punishment answering to the sin
I called, ye . . . not answer--"I called," though "none had called"
yet even then none "answered"
Contrast with this God and His people's mutual fellowship in prayer
13. eat--enjoy all blessings from me
(Am 4:6; 8:11).
This may refer to the siege of Jerusalem under Titus, when 1,100,000
are said to have perished by famine; thus
will refer to God's people without distinction of Jew and Gentile
receiving "another name," namely, that of Christians [HOUBIGANT]. A further fulfilment may still remain, just
before the creation of the "new heavens and earth," as the context,
15. curse--The name of "Jew" has been for long a formula of execration
if one wishes to curse another, he can utter nothing worse than this,
"God make thee what the Jew is!" Contrast the formula
my chosen--the elect Church, gathered from Jews and Gentiles, called
by "another name," Christians
However (see on
as "My chosen," or "elect," in
refers to the "seed of Jacob," the believing Jews, hereafter
about to possess their land
(Isa 65:19, 22),
are ultimately meant by "My chosen," as contrasted with the
unbelieving Jews ("ye"). These elect Jews shall be called by "another,"
or a new name, that is, shall no longer be "forsaken" of God for
unbelief, but shall be His "delight" and "married" to Him
(Isa 62:2, 4).
thee--unbelieving Israel. Isaiah here speaks of God, whereas in
the preceding sentences God Himself spake. This change of persons
marks without design how completely the prophet realized God with him
and in him, so that he passes, without formally announcing it, from
God's words to his own, and vice versa, both alike being from God.
16. That he--rather, "he who," &c.
God of truth--very God, as opposed to false gods;
Hebrew, Amen: the very name of Messiah
faithful to His promises
(Joh 1:17; 6:32).
Real, substantial, spiritual, eternal, as opposed to the shadowy types
of the law.
sweareth, &c.--God alone shall be appealed to as God
troubles--that is, sins, provocations
[LOWTH]. Rather, calamities caused by your sins; so far from these visiting you again, the very
remembrance of them is "hid from Mine eyes" by the magnitude of the
blessings I will confer on you
17. As Caleb inherited the same land which his feet trod on
so Messiah and His saints shall inherit the renovated earth which once
they trod while defiled by the enemy
34:4; 51:16; 66:22;
Ps 2:8; 37:11;
not be remembered--See on
note on "troubles"; the words here answer to "the former
. . . forgotten," &c. The former sorrows of the earth, under
the fall, shall be so far from recurring, that their very remembrance
shall be obliterated by the many mercies I will bestow on the new earth
18. rejoice for ever . . . Jerusalem--