Isaiah (Ch 57-58)

“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it,” Isaiah 58:13-14

Isaiah 57

1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. — the righteous are delivered from the sting of death; the careless world disregards this. Few lament it as a public loss and very few notice it as a public warning; they are taken away in compassion and that they may not see the evil, nor share in it, nor be tempted by it. The righteous man, when he dies, enters into peace and rest.

He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. — he shall enter into peace, or ‘he shall go in peace.’ So the Septuagint, ‘his sepulchre shall be in peace.’ The idea is, that by his death the righteous man shall enter into rest; he shall get away from conflict, strife, agitation and distress.

“But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. — draw near to face God’s tribunal, to receive your sentence; though Hezekiah and Josiah had made a great change when each ascended the throne and had done their best to put down idolatry, yet it was still dear among the people, and was easily revived each of their sons; thus the Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction.

Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom make ye a wide mouth and draw out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, CSB Who are you mocking? Who are you opening your mouth and sticking out your tongue at? Isn’t it you, you rebellious children, you offspring of liars,

inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks? — inflaming yourselves with idols; being inflamed or growing hot after idols; that is, lusting after them and mad upon them;

— under the clefts of the rocks; dark and shady groves; deep and sombre caverns were the places where the abominable rites of the pagan superstitions were practiced.

Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot. Even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these? — among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; or thy god; but the portion of Jacob is not like them, stocks and stones, Jeremiah 10:16;

— whenever they could pick up smooth stones and such as were fit for their purpose, whether in the stream of a brook or in a valley as the word also signifies, they polished and formed them into an image and made gods of them; and these were their portion and inheritance and which they left to their children.

Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed; even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice. —upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed; temples and altars which are usually built on high places where they commit spiritual adultery; that is, idolatry in imitation of the heathens who had their temples and altars on high places;

— the Targum says, “on a high and lofty mountain thou hast the place of the house of thy dwelling” which agrees very well with the great city the seat of the beast; like the temple at Mount Gerizim and later the church of Rome.

Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance; for thou hast uncovered thyself to another than Me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it. — behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance of thy idols, as the Targum says.

And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell. — thou went to the king, that is, the king of Assyria or Egypt to whom the Israelites were very prone to seek, and trust and send presents.

10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, ‘There is no hope.’ Thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved. — thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; thou hast not eased or relieved but only tired thyself with all thy tedious journeys and laborious endeavours.

11 “And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered Me, nor laid it to thy heart? Have not I held My peace even of old, and thou fearest Me not? — and of whom hast thou been afraid or feared? and what or who are they the fear of whom drives thee to these wicked and desperate courses? Are they not men, weak and mortal creatures such as wholly depend upon me and can do nothing to thee either against me or without me?

— and hast not remembered me; or “for thou hast not remembered me nor laid it to thy heart?” or “put me upon thy heart” – the Targum says, “and hast not remembered my worship, nor put my fear upon thy heart.”

12 I will declare thy righteousness and thy works, for they shall not profit thee.

13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away, vanity shall take them. But he that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain, — when thou criest; in the time of thy trouble;

— let thy companies deliver thee; properly, “a gathering; a throng; a collection.” Here it refers either to the throngs of the idols which they had collected, and on which they relied; or to the collection of foreigners which they had summoned to their assistance; if people trust to other objects for aid than the arm of God, they will be left in the day of trial to such assistance as they can render them.

14 And shall say, ‘Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way; take up the stumbling block out of the way of My people.’” — the Targum says, “and he shall say, teach and admonish, prepare (or direct) the heart of the people to the right way, remove the stumblingblock of the wicked out of the way of my people.”

15 For thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. — for thus saith the high and lofty; the central truth for the comfort of God’s people is that the infinitely Great One cares even for the infinitely little;

— whose name is Holy; who is omnipotent, everlasting, and unchangeable, holy in all his words and ways, and therefore both can and will deliver his people, as he hath promised to do.

16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. — for I will not contend for ever; I will not be angry with my people forever, nor always refuse to pardon and comfort them;

— the Targum says, for I will not take vengeance of judgement forever, neither shall my wrath be eternal.

17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth and smote him; I hid Me and was wroth, and he went on waywardly in the way of his heart. — the Targum says, “my wrath is upon them on account of their robbed riches, and I smote them; I removed my Shekinah from them, and cast them out.”

MSG: A Message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed, And what I do is put new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again.

For I’m not going to haul people into court endlessly, I’m not going to be angry forever. Otherwise, people would lose heart. These souls I created would tire out and give up. I was angry, good and angry, because of Israel’s sins. I struck him hard and turned away in anger, while he kept at his stubborn, willful ways.

When I looked again and saw what he was doing, I decided to heal him, lead him, and comfort him, creating a new language of praise for the mourners. Peace to the far-off, peace to the near-at-hand,” says God— “and yes, I will heal them.

But the wicked are storm-battered seas that can’t quiet down. The waves stir up garbage and mud. There’s no peace,” God says, “for the wicked.”

18 I have seen his ways and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.

19 I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near,” saith the Lord; “and I will heal him.

20 “But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. — but the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest; disturbed by winds, storms and hurricanes, when its waves rise, rage and tumble about, and beat against the shore and sand, threatening to pass the bounds fixed for it;

— the Septuagint renders it, ‘But the wicked are tossed like waves and are not able to be at rest.’ 

21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” — but the wicked, who persist in the alienation from God are incapable of the peace which God brings to His people: they are like the sea in its tossed and stormy state; as this cannot rest and as its waters cast out slime and mud, so has their natural state become one of perpetual disturbance, leading to the uninterrupted production of unclean and ungodly thoughts, words and works.

Isaiah 58

1 “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet! And show My people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. — Cry aloud; literally, with the throat, i.e., with no faint whisper as from stammering lips, but with full strength of voice; and so the Targum expresses it, “O prophet, cry with thy throat;”

— Lift up thy voice like a trumpet; Speak loud and distinct, so that the language of reproof may be heard; and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins:

Hosea 1:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. — her feast days; which “Christians” understand and practice are:

(a) Christmas, which honor the Mithraism – a form of nature worship based on the Sun-Goddess Mithra who on the darkest night of the year (December 20/21), gives birth to “Light” causing each day thereafter to grow longer until the Summer solstice; and

(b) Easters, a celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. Her symbols (like the egg and bunny) were and still are fertility and sex symbols; and to those who actually think eggs and bunnies have something to do with the resurrection; and

(c) her sabbaths which is Sundays, where the original keepers were the Samaritans, brought from Assyria: And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof, II Kings 17:24.

Yet they seek Me daily and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. — yet they seek me daily; they cover all their wickedness with a profession of religion, from time to time resorting to my house, pretending to ask counsel of me and to desire and seek my favour and blessing. And delight to know my ways;

— that is, either, (a) they seem to delight to know them, men being often said in Scripture to be or do that which they seem or profess to be or do: or (b) they really delight; for there are many men who take some pleasure in knowing God’s will and word, and yet do not conform their lives to them.

‘Why have we fasted,’ say they, ‘and Thou seest not? Why have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no note?’ Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. — in those solemn days of fasting which I have appointed; or in those times when I have called you by the course of my providence and counsels of my prophets, unto fasting, weeping and mourning, yet ye find pleasure, indulging in pride, covetousness and malignant passions.

— in the day of your fast ye find pleasure; better, ye carry on your business. Fasts were not governed like the Sabbath by a fixed law and the people consequently lost sight of the true end of fasting—prayer, meditation, penitence.

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. — ye fast for strife and contention; it produced a quarrelsome temper which even led to open violence,—“smiting with godless fist;”

— to make your voice to be heard on high; that is in strife and contention that your voice can be heard on the mountain top that their prayers would ascend to heaven and be heard by God.

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? — a fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin it is not a fast. These pretenders had shown sorrow on stated or occasioned fasts, but they indulged in pride, covetousness and malignant passions.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? — is not this the fast that I have chosen? – or approve, fasting is right and proper; but that which God approves and follows by deeds of humility, justice and kindness.

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?—when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? — — to share your bread with the hungry and to offer shelter to the homeless poor, to clothe the naked when you behold them and not turn your back on your own kin;

MSG: “This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. — then shall thy light; cause of rejoicing, break forth as the morning; arise as certainly and speedily as in the morning the light arises out of darkness.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, ‘Here I am.’ If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity, — “the putting forth of the finger” – pointing at those that could not comply with them, by way of scorn and derision and persecuting them for it; and so is the same with smiting with the fist of wickedness.

10 and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness be as the noonday. — then shall thy light rise in obscurity; that is, it will be as if the cheerful light of the sun should rise amidst the shades of midnight; their calamities and trials would be suddenly succeeded by the bright and cheerful light of prosperity.

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. — like a watered garden; like a garden for the pleasure and beauty of it, a paradise; like a garden watered for the continual flourishing of thy estate; there shall be no withering or decay upon thy prosperous condition.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths to dwell in. — thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; either such foundations as have been razed up and lay so for ages past; or raise up such as shall continue for generations to come;

— and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach and the restorer of paths to dwell in; the Targum says, “they shall call thee one that confirms the right way, and converts, the ungodly to the law.”

13 “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, — the sabbath is a sign between God and his people; his appointing it is a sign of his favour to them; and their observing it is a sign of their obedience to him;

— and call the Sabbath a delight; this appropriately expresses the feelings of all who have any just views of the Sabbath. To them it is not wearisome, nor are its hours heavy. They love the day of sweet and holy rest; they esteem it a privilege, not a task, to be permitted once a week to disburden their minds of the cares, and toils, and anxieties of life. It is a ‘delight’ to them to recall the memory of the institution of the Sabbath, when God rested from his labours.

14 then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” — then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord: that is, if thou wilt delight thyself in the sabbath, then thou shalt delight in the God of the sabbath; or thou shalt have cause to delight in the Lord, in his goodness and faithfulness to thee and so shalt live by faith in him as the Fountain of all good.

~ by Joel Huan on April 16, 2022.

One Response to “Isaiah (Ch 57-58)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 57 and 58 HERE~ —— […]

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