1. The inscription.
The word—the revelation.
2. Same as Mic 4:1. As Micah prophesied in Jotham's reign,
and Isaiah in Uzziah's, Micah rests on Isaiah, whom he confirms: not
vice versa. Hengstenberg on slight
grounds makes Mic 4:1 the
last days—that is, Messiah's:
especially the days yet to come, to which all prophecy hastens, when
"the house of the God of Jacob," namely, at Jerusalem, shall be
the center to which the converted nations shall flock together (Mt 13:32; Lu 2:31, 32; Ac 1:6, 7); where "the kingdom" of Israel is
regarded as certain and the time alone uncertain (Ps 68:15,
16; 72:8, 11).
mountain of the Lord's house … in the
top, &c.—the temple on Mount Moriah: type of the Gospel,
beginning at Jerusalem, and, like an object set on the highest hill,
made so conspicuous that all nations are attracted to it.
flow—as a broad stream (Isa 66:12).
3. If the curse foretold against Israel has
been literally fulfilled, so shall the promised blessing be literal. We
Gentiles must not, while giving them the curse, deny them their
peculiar blessing by spiritualizing it. The Holy Ghost shall be poured
out for a general conversion then (Jer 50:5; Zec 8:21, 23; Joe 2:28).
from Jerusalem—(Lu 24:47) an earnest of the future relations of
Jerusalem to Christendom (Ro 11:12, 15).
4. judge—as a sovereign umpire, settling
all controversies (compare Isa 11:4).
Lowth translates "work,"
plowshares—in the East resembling a
short sword (Isa 9:6, 7; Zec 9:10).
5. The connection is: As Israel's high destiny
is to be a blessing to all nations (Ge 12:3), let Israel's children walk worthy of
6. Therefore—rather, "For": reasons why
there is the more need of the exhortation in Isa 2:5.
thou—transition to Jehovah: such rapid
transitions are natural, when the mind is full of a subject.
replenished—rather, filled, namely,
with the superstitions of the East, Syria, and Chaldea.
soothsayers—forbidden (De 18:10-14).
Philistines—southwest of Palestine:
antithesis to "the east."
please themselves—rather, join hands
with, that is, enter into alliances, matrimonial and national:
forbidden (Ex 23:32; Ne 13:23, &c.).
7. gold—forbidden to be heaped together
17:17). Solomon disobeyed
horses … chariots—forbidden
17:16). But Solomon disobeyed
20:26). Horses could be used
effectively for war in the plains of Egypt; not so in the hilly Judea.
God designed there should be as wide as possible a distinction between
Israel and the Egyptians. He would have His people wholly dependent on
Him, rather than on the ordinary means of warfare (Ps 20:7). Also horses were connected with
idolatry (2Ki 23:11);
hence His objection: so the transition to "idols" (Isa 2:8) is natural.
8. (Ho 8:4). Not
so much public idolatry, which was not sanctioned in Uzziah's and
Jotham's reign, but (see 2Ki 15:4, 35) as private.
9. mean—in rank: not morally base:
opposed to "the great man." The former is in Hebrew, Adam, the
boweth—namely, to idols. All
ranks were idolaters.
forgive … not—a threat expressed
by an imperative. Isaiah so identifies himself with God's will, that he
prays for that which he knows God purposes. So Re 18:6.
10. Poetical form of expressing that, such
were their sins, they would be obliged by God's judgments to seek a
hiding-place from His wrath (Re 6:15, 16).
dust—equivalent to "caves of the
earth," or dust (Isa 2:19).
for fear, &c.—literally, "from the
face of the terror of the Lord."
11. lofty looks—literally, "eyes of
humbled—by calamities. God will so
vindicate His honor "in that day" of judgments, that none else "shall
be exalted" (Zec 14:9).
12. Man has had many days: "the day of the
Lord" shall come at last, beginning with judgment, a never-ending day
in which God shall be "all in all" (1Co 15:28; 2Pe 3:10).
every—not merely person, as
English Version explains it, but every thing on which the
nation prided itself.
13. cedars … oaks—image for
haughty nobles and princes (Am 2:9; Zec 11:1, 2; compare Re 19:18-21).
Bashan—east of Jordan, north of the
river Jabbok, famous for fine oaks, pasture, and cattle. Perhaps in
"oaks" there is reference to their idolatry (Isa 1:29).
14. high … hills—referring to the
"high places" on which sacrifices were unlawfully offered, even in
Uzziah's (equivalent to Azariah) reign (2Ki 15:4). Also, places of strength,
fastnesses in which they trusted, rather than in God; so
15. tower … wall—Towers
were often made on the walls of cities.
16. Tarshish—Tartessus in
southwest Spain, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir, near Gibraltar. It
includes the adjoining region: a Phœnician colony; hence its
connection with Palestine and the Bible (2Ch 9:21). The name was also used in a wide sense
for the farthest west, as our West Indies (Isa
66:19; Ps 48:7; 72:10).
"Ships of Tarshish" became a phrase for richly laden and
far-voyaging vessels. The judgment shall be on all that minister
to man's luxury (compare Re 18:17-19).
pictures—ordered to be destroyed
33:52). Still to be seen on
the walls of Nineveh's palaces. It is remarkable that whereas all other
ancient civilized nations, Egypt, Assyria, Greece, Rome, have left
monuments in the fine arts, Judea, while rising immeasurably above them
in the possession of "the living oracles," has left none of the former.
The fine arts, as in modern Rome, were so often associated with
polytheism, that God required His people in this, as in other respects,
to be separate from the nations (De 4:15-18). But Vulgate translation is
perhaps better, "All that is beautiful to the sight"; not only
paintings, but all luxurious ornaments. One comprehensive word for all
that goes before (compare Re 18:12, 14, 16).
17. Repeated from Isa 2:11, for emphatic confirmation.
18. idols—literally, "vain things,"
"nothings" (1Co 8:4).
Fulfilled to the letter. Before the Babylonian captivity the
Jews were most prone to idolatry; in no instance, ever since.
For the future fulfilment, see Zec 13:2; Re 13:15;
19. The fulfilment answers exactly to the
caves—abounding in Judea, a hilly
country; hiding-places in times of alarm (1Sa 13:6).
shake … earth—and the heavens
12:26). Figure for severe and
20. moles—Others translate "mice." The
sense is, under ground, in darkness.
bats—unclean birds (Le 11:19), living amidst tenantless ruins (Re 11:13).
22. The high ones (Isa 2:11, 13) on whom the people trust, shall
be "brought low" (Isa 3:2);
therefore "cease from" depending on them, instead of on the Lord (Ps 146:3-5).