Isaiah 2:5-9 Commentary

Isaiah 2:5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD (NASB: Lockman)

English Translation of the Greek (Septuagint): And now, O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Amplified: O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

NET: O descendants of Jacob, come, let us walk in the LORD's guiding light. (NET Bible)

NJB: House of Jacob, come, let us walk in Yahweh's light. (NJB)

NLT: Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Young's Literal: O house of Jacob, come, And we walk in the light of Jehovah.'

ISAIAH
("Jehovah is Salvation")

See Excellent Timeline for Isaiah - page 39
JEHOVAH'S
Judgment & Character

(Isaiah 1-39)
JEHOVAH'S
Comfort & Redemption

(Isaiah 40-66)
Uzziah
Jotham
Ahaz

1-12





13-27




28-35
Hezekiah's
Salvation &
Blessing

36-39
True
God


40-48
Suffering
Messiah


49-57
Reigning
Lord


58-66
Prophecies
Regarding
Judah &
Jerusalem
Is 1:1-12:6
Prophecies
Against
the Nations
Warnings
& Promises
Historical
Section
Redemption
Promised:
Israel's
Deliverance
Redemption
Provided:
Israel's
Deliverer
Redemption
Realized:
Israel's
Glorious
Future
Prophetic Historic Messianic
Holiness, Righteousness & Justice of Jehovah Grace, Compassion & Glory of Jehovah
God's Government
"A throne" Is 6:1
God's Grace
"A Lamb" Is 53:7
Time
740-680BC

Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD:

  • come Is 2:3; 50:10,11; 60:1,19; Ps 89:15; Luke 1:79; John 12:35,36; Romans 13:12-14; Ephesians 5:8; 1Thessalonians 5:5,6; 1John 1:7; Revelation 21:23,24

WALKING IN
THE LIGHT

Come… let us walk - Here Isaiah is speaking to those who have ears to hear in his own day. Come is not just a suggestion but a command which is followed by an exhortation (let us walk). The idea is now that you've heard about the behavior of the foreign nations in the future, let this motivate you to follow their example even now (in Isaiah's day).

House of Jacob - 22v in Scripture (9 uses by Isaiah) -

Ge 46:27; Ex 19:3; Ps. 114:1; Isa. 2:5, 6; 8:17; 10:20; 14:1; 29:22; 46:3; 48:1; 58:1; Jer. 2:4; 5:20; Ezek. 20:5; Amos 3:13; 9:8; Obad 1:17, 18; Mic. 2:7; 3:9; Lk. 1:33

John Martin makes the excellent point that - When great truths about the future are given in the Scriptures, readers are often reminded of how they should live in the present (e.g., 1Th 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18-note; 1Th 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-note; 2Pe 3:10, 11, 12, 13, 14-note; 1Jn 3:2, 3). In view of the fact that in the Millennium all nations will stream to Jerusalem to learn God’s Word, it would be sensible for Israel, already knowing that Law, to follow it (walking in its ”light“) until the Lord sets up His glorious kingdom. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor)

MacDonald suggests that "The glorious prospect of Christ’s kingdom moves Isaiah to call the people of Judah to repentance immediately. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Grogan has an interesting thought writing that "Isaiah viewed the future obedience of the nations to the true God as a challenge to the house of Jacob to walk in his ways. The nations are not yet coming to Jerusalem to be taught by the Lord, but Israel already has his word. How unthinkable then that she should continue to walk in darkness! The Christian is faced by the same kind of challenge in Ephesians 5:8-20 (see notes). (Grogan, G. Isaiah: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament. Zondervan Publishing)

Walk in the light of the LORD - (contrast Is 59:9, 10) Light exposes, reveals or uncovers that which is not seen because of darkness. In the immediate context, Isaiah has just shed a brilliant prophetic light on Israel's future glory. The upshot is that this sure hope of future grace and glory should serve to motivate a walk commensurate with that truth. Specifically what manner of walk is he calling for? Although it is not stated, comparison with numerous other texts leaves no doubt that God through His prophet Isaiah is exhorting his Jewish readers to a worthy walk, a walk of holiness (cp the effect of "hope" in 1Jn 3:2, 3). As stated many times on this website, what you are looking for will (or should) affect what you are living for.

A true knowledge of the future should always impact our behavior in the present. Otherwise we have become hypocrites -- "smarter sinners", "modern day Pharisees" who will be held accountable for our greater revelation.

NET Note -  In this context, which speaks of the Lord's instruction and commands, the "light of the Lord" refers to his moral standards by which he seeks to guide his people. One could paraphrase, "let's obey the Lord's commands." 

Smith writes that the response of his Jewish hearers…

will determine whether Isaiah's audience will enjoy the kingdom God prepared for those who follow Him, or miss out on this great privilege. That same choice is required of all people since the time of Isaiah. People in every generation must choose to come to God, learn of His ways, and enjoy His kingdom, or they can proudly focus on their own accomplishments, close their ears and eyes to what God says, and suffer a humiliation similar to what Isaiah prophesies (Is 2:6-22). (New American Commentary - New American Commentary – Volume 15a: Isaiah 1-39.)

The psalmist says we are to walk not just in any light but in the light of a Person…

Psalm 89:15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Thy countenance (of Your face).

Augustus Montague Toplady comments that…

Surely, next to the love of God's heart, believers value the smiles of his face; from which, as from the agency of the sun, arise the budding of conscious joy, the leaves of unsullied profession, the variegated blossom of holy tempers, and the beneficent fruits of moral righteousness. They are totally mistaken who suppose that the light of God's countenance, and the privileges of the gospel, and the comforts of the Spirit, conduce to make us indolent and inactive in the way of duty. The text cuts up this surmise by the roots. For, it does not say, they shall sit down in the light of thy countenance; or, they shall lie down in the light of thy countenance; but "they shall WALK in the light of thy countenance." What is walking? It is a progressive motion from one point of space to another. And what is that holy walking which God's Spirit enables all his people to observe? It is a continued, progressive motion from sin to holiness; from all that is evil, to every good word and work. And the self same "light of God's countenance" in which you, O believer, are enabled to walk, and which at first gave you spiritual feet wherewith to walk, will keep you in a walking and in a working state, to the end of your warfare.

In Ephesians Paul writes to the predominantly Gentile believers…

you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk (present imperative = command to make this your practice to walk in a manner which pleases the Lord) as children of light (Ep 5:8-note)

In Romans Paul admonishes the believers at Rome that…

The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on (aorist imperative = Command to do this immediately and effectively! Speaks of urgency. Soldiers put their gear on before battle lest they become seriously injured!) the Lord Jesus Christ, and make (present imperative + negative = stop making plans to sin!) no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Ro 13:12-note, Ro 13:13, 14-note)

Isaiah later speaks of walking rightly declaring that…

He who walks righteously (then he enumerates what a righteous walk looks like), and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain, And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; He will dwell on the heights; His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given him; His water will be sure. Your eyes will see the King in His beauty (Christ Jesus, the King of kings); They will behold a far-distant land. (Is 33:15, 16, 17)

And a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it. These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Is 35:8, 9, 10)

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. (Is 40:31)

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. (Is 43:2)

Later in Isaiah God explains how not to walk declaring…

"I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, (Why is it not good?) following their own thoughts (Is 65:2)

Isaiah 2:6 For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, and they are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. (NASB: Lockman)

English Translation of the Greek (Septuagint): For he has forsaken his people the house of Israel, because their land is filled as at the beginning with divinations, as the land of the Philistines, and many strange children were born to them.

Amplified: Surely [Lord] You have rejected and forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled [with customs] from the east and with soothsayers [who foretell] like the Philistines; also they strike hands and make pledges and agreements with the children of aliens. [Deut. 18:9-12.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

NET: Indeed, O LORD, you have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. For diviners from the east are everywhere; they consult omen readers like the Philistines do. Plenty of foreigners are around. (NET Bible)

NJB: You have rejected your people, the House of Jacob, for it has long been full of sorcerers like the Philistines, and is overrun with foreigners. (NJB)

NLT: For Thou hast abandoned Thy people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Young's Literal: For Thou hast left Thy people, the house of Jacob. For they have been filled from the east, And are sorcerers like the Philistines, And with the children of strangers strike hands.

For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east:

  • Deuteronomy 31:16,17; 2Chronicles 15:2; 24:20; Lamentations 5:20; Romans 11:1,2,20) (East - Numbers 23:7

REASONS FOR JEHOVAH'S ABANDONMENT
OF THE HOUSE OF JACOB

NET Indeed, O LORD (words added by NET), you have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. For diviners from the east are everywhere; they consult omen readers like the Philistines do. Plenty of foreigners are around.

Isaiah 2:1-5 opens with a prophecy of Messiah's future reign, but in Isaiah 2:6-9, the prophecy changes abruptly to one of divine condemnation. Isaiah 2:10–18 then gives a graphic description of God's judgment and men's desperate but futile attempt to escape.

For = term of explanation. In analyzing this term of explanation, often the explanation is deduced from the observing the preceding passages, but in this case the explanation follows - "because they are filled… "

In Isaiah 2:6-9 we see Judah and Jerusalem "full" but empty and in Is 2:10-19 we see the proud high but made low! God is never mocked.

Isaiah moves from glory back to gloom beginning in Isa 2:6 and continuing through Isa 4:1, these passages including Isaiah's exposition of the terrifying Day of the LORD (Day of Yahweh).

You - Isaiah is now addressing God directly.

You have abandoned Your people - He is speaking of Judah and Jerusalem whose pride precluded reception of God's presence and blessing.

Abandoned (05203) (natash/natas) means to abandon, to forsake, to leave alone. About 50% of the 40 uses convey the idea to forsake, reject leave alone. The idea is to cause a relationship or association to cease until there is the possibility of renewal. Things abandoned or forsaken - Of land that should be "forsaken" in the seventh year (Ex. 23:11), of Israel who abandoned God (Dt. 32:15), of Saul's father who forgot about the donkeys (1 Sa 10:2), of David who left his flock (1 Sa 17:20), of the psalmist who pleaded with God not abandon him (Ps. 27:9), of God abandoning His dwelling place at Shiloh (Ps 78:60),  of abandoning a quarrel (Pr 17:14), of a mother's teaching which should not be forsaken (Pr 6:20). Natash means to not permit when Laban was not allowed to kiss his grandchildren good-bye (Ge 31:28).

Ps 94:14 is good news for us who are prone to wander "For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance."

The Lxx translates natash in this passage with the verb aniemi which basically describes a relaxation of tension (grip, or loosening chains) and figuratively with a person or people group means to abandon or desert (something He won't do to believers - Heb 13:6).

Gilbrant on natash

The primary meaning of nātash in the Qal stem is "to abandon." The Niphal stem has this meaning, as well as the meaning "to be scattered." In some contexts, the meaning of abandon is tempered and simply means "to leave." At other times, the word is intensified and means "to cast away."

There are two unique uses of the word. In Gen. 31:28, this verb means "to allow." Laban complained that Jacob had left without allowing him the opportunity to kiss his sons and daughters farewell. In Isa. 21:15, the word appears as a Qal passive participle and refers to a "drawn" sword.

A more common meaning is abandoning. For example, after Israel became prosperous they abandoned the Lord, as Moses prophesied (Deut. 32:15). After the Lord brought Israel from Egypt, He abandoned them into the hand of the Midianites in accord with the Israelites' breaking of the Covenant (Judg. 6:13). Saul's father abandoned the matter of the lost donkeys and became concerned about his missing son (1 Sam. 10:2). Similarly, Isaiah prophesied that the palace of Jerusalem would be abandoned (Isa. 32:14), and Proverbs advises abandoning quarrels before they break out (Prov. 17:14).

With the milder meaning of "to leave," we find that the Lord left or deposited the quail upon the camp of Israel (Num. 11:31), David left the sheep with the keeper (1 Sam. 17:20) and the Lord left the bloodguilt upon Ephraim (Hos. 12:14). A specialized usage of this verb appears in Exo. 23:11, where the Lord commanded his people to let the land "lie fallow" in the seventh year. They did not abandon the land; they simply left it uncultivated for the Sabbath year.

In Ezek. 32:4, nātash appears in parallel with shākhan, "to hurl." In this context, a more forceful idea of casting away is intended rather than abandonment. The same idea occurs in Jer. 23:39, where the prophet writes that the Lord would cast the Israelites from his presence.

Another use concerns spreading out—an idea which often occurs in military contexts. For example, the Philistines spread themselves out in Lehi to fight against Judah (Jdg. 15:9). Similarly, the Amalekites were spread out in the valley to celebrate their victory after their battle in Judah (1 Sam. 30:16). Isaiah likened Moab to a vine whose tendrils had spread themselves out and had passed over the sea (Isa. 16:8), which implies economic prosperity that reaches into other lands.

In Isa. 33:23, this verb, in the Niphal stem, means "to hang loose"; in this context, the tackle of a ship is loose and cannot hold the mast firm.  (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

Natash - 40x in 39v in the NAS - abandon(7), abandoned(5), allow(1), cast away(1), ceased(1), drawn(1), fall(1), forego(1), forsake(3), forsaken(2), forsook(1), hangs slack(1), leave(2), left(5), lie fallow(1), neglected(1), spread(6).

Gen. 31:28; Exod. 23:11; Num. 11:31; Deut. 32:15; Jdg. 6:13; 15:9; 1 Sam. 4:2; 10:2; 12:22; 17:20, 22, 28; 30:16; 2 Sam. 5:18, 22; 1 Ki. 8:57; 2 Ki. 21:14; Neh. 10:31; Ps. 27:9; 78:60; 94:14; Prov. 1:8; 6:20; 17:14; Isa. 2:6; 16:8; 21:15; 32:14; 33:23; Jer. 7:29; 12:7; 15:6; 23:33, 39; Ezek. 29:5; 31:12; 32:4; Hos. 12:14; Amos 5:2.

The TWOT notes that "Often natas is used of God forsaking or casting off his people (Jdg 6:13; 1Sa 12:22; 1Ki 8:57; 2Ki 21:14; Ps 94:14; Isa 2:6; Jer 7:29; 12:7; 23:33, 39). On the other hand, God (Dt 32:15; Je 15:6), David (Ps 27:9) or Egypt (Ezek 29:5) may be the object of natas. The term is also used of forsaking the tabernacle at Shiloh (Ps 78:60) and of rejecting the teaching of one’s mother (Pr 1:8, 6:20). (Harris, R L, Archer, G L & Waltke, B K Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Moody Press)

For example, in the book of Judges (see the "theme" Jdg 21:25-note) Israel repeatedly forgot and forsook the living God to chase after the deceptive dross and dregs of vain idols. And so we read…

Then Gideon said to Him (the Angel of the LORD), "O my lord (Appropriately a "little l, rather than a capital "L", for it appears Gideon had not yet had his eyes opened to understand with Whom he was speaking! May our eyes be opened by the Spirit to hear the Lord's voice in His Word!), if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned (natash) us and given us into the hand of Midian."

Why Will God Judge His People?
They are Satiated With Sinful Influences!

Because (term of explanation) - Always be alert to this and similar connective conjunctions such as "since", "for" (not always explanatory - check the context) and ask "Why?" (see interrogate with the 5W'S & H). These conjunctions explain the reason for what precedes, in this case the reason for God's abandonment. The Holy One of Israel is not capricious, but gives clear reasons for abandoning His people. In fact this entire next section from Isa 2:6 through Isa 4:1 deals with God's "reason" for forsaking His chosen people.

They - Notice that in Is 2:5 Isaiah includes himself in the exhortation to a worthy walk, but in this section of "indictments" against Judah and Jerusalem he does not include himself but instead uses pronouns they… their… them.

In this next section extending from Isa 2:6 through Isa 4:1 (Isa 4:1 is a "poor chapter break" and would have been more appropriate in chapter 3) after outlining Israel's future hope in the Messianic age to come and calling for a walk concordant with that sure hope, Isaiah returns to review God's righteous indignation against Judah because of her greed, idolatry and haughty spirit.

Filled with influences from the east - (see filled with idols below in Is 2:8) What a contrast with the previous section where "many peoples (Gentiles) will come" to Jerusalem to learn of God. Here many Jews were pursuing spirituality and had become filled with the ways of the world's religions, especially the Eastern religions!

Young - The picture is that of a vessel that is filled, and hence has no room to hold anything further. The nation is filled with what comes from the east, which is always represented as the source from whence these superstitions have filled the nation. To state the case in a slightly different fashion, we may say that the nation is filled with the east. By means of caravans crossing the desert east and northeast of Palestine there had actually been an influx of soothsayers and an introduction to eastern ways of life. The east is probably the Syrian desert and the lands beyond. (The Book of Isaiah: Volume 1)

Filled (04390)(male) means to fill or to be full, to complete, to fulfill, to finish, to satisfy. Male is used of something full in both the spatial and temporal sense. The first use in Ge 1:22 is God's command to His creatures to "fill (Lxx = pleroo) the waters" and then to Adam and Eve to "fill (Lxx = pleroo) the earth" (Ge 1:28; same command to Noah in Ge 9:1), these uses conveying the sense of to procreate. In a figurative sense male describes that "the earth was filled (Lxx = pimplemi = satiated, completely filled) with violence (Ge 6:11, 13, cp Ps 74:20)" or a man's hand "full (Lxx = pimplemi) of bribes" (Ps 26:10), God's right hand "full of righteousness." (Ps 48:10). In Isaiah 2:6 the Lxx translates male with the verb empiplemi which means to have one's fill of something (in the sense of enjoying it!) in this context referring to "influences from the east." They were filled with and enjoyed ungodly influences which incited the wrath of God against His chosen people. Sin always "comes home to roost" so to speak (cp Gal 6:7-8).

Warren Wiersbe notes that "The growth of Eastern religions in the modern Western world is a phenomenon that is both frightening and challenging. Even nonreligious people are practicing Eastern forms of meditation and relaxation, following techniques that are being taught in university classes and business seminars. (Wiersbe, W. W. Be Comforted. An Old Testament study. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)

Filled with - Dear reader, you can mark down the maxim that whatever you allow to "fill" you will eventually control you. If you are filled with anger, rage or jealousy, these emotions will control you. If you are filled with the Spirit, He will control you (Ep 5:18-note, compare Col 3:16-note for a practical way to "be continually filled"). If you are filled with eastern teachings (New Age, eastern mysticism, etc), be aware that these influences are not neutral but will exert control on your mind and subsequently on your thoughts, words and deeds. There is a subtle but growing influence infiltrating the the modern evangelical church and it is characterized by the pursuit of "mystical" experiences (eg, mystical practices in prayer, etc). The closer the day of Christ's return, the more subtle will be the counterfeit religious practices! In order to be a worthy Berean (Ac 17:11-note) fortify yourself daily with the Word of Truth (Mt 4:4, Jn 17:17, 1Pe 2:2-note) so that you will be enabled by the Spirit to discern truth from error in these "last" of the last days (He 5:14-note, 1Th 5:21, 22-note), cp Col 2:8-note)

The tragedy (among many) is that according to Isa 49:6 Israel (Judah) was to have been "a light among the nations (Gentiles)" so that God's "salvation may reach to the end of the earth" (God's commission to the nation, which Paul took seriously and carried out as he said in Acts 13:47). As a result of their defilement, the chosen people instead of being light and salt to the nations, had lost their savor and had "become tasteless… good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men." (Mt 5:13-note). Beloved, lest we are too hard on Judah, we need to examine the saltiness of our salt and the clarity of our light before lost men and women (both Jews and Gentiles) whom God has placed in our path. (Mt 5:14, 15, 16-note)

Chuck Smith writes that in Is 2:6, 7, 8 gives us "An apt description of present-day humanism. Man worships the creature rather than the Creator."

From the east - This area would appear to include the region of Mesopotamia. One cannot miss the striking contrast of evil streaming into Israel from the nations in Isa 2:6 and the prophecy in Isa 2:1 which depicts that glorious day when "all the nations will stream to" the mountain of the house of Yahweh, to Mt Zion, the city of and seat of the Messiah in the Millennium! Indeed, in that day Israel is miraculously transformed from a nation filled with evil and the judgment of Jehovah and into a nation filled with the knowledge of God (Isa 2:3) and radiating the glory of God (Isaiah 4:5, 6:3)!

And they are soothsayers like the Philistines:

  • Is 8:19; 47:12,13; Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deut 18:10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 1Chronicles 10:13

Soothsayer (Hebrew = anan; Lxx = kledonismos = divination; observation of a sign - 9 verses in OT = Lev 19:26; Deut 18:10, 14; Jdg 9:37; 2Ki 21:6; 2Chr 33:6; Isa 2:6; 57:3; Jer 27:9) (Literally “and omen readers like the Philistines.”) - a seer or one who is supposed to be able to predict the future by various means. One thinks of the modern fascination with Nostradamus (in Jan, 2009 there were over 7 million hits for the search term Nostradamus [8.5 mil - Jan, 2016]! This compares with some 17 million for Messiah [34.8 mil - Jan, 2016].)

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "sooth" as truth (or real, reality) and thus the idea is one who claims to speak the truth. Thus in a real sense a soothsayer is essentially a false prophet.

The 1828 Webster's dictionary defines soothsayer as "A foreteller; a prognosticator; one who undertakes to foretell future events without inspiration."

The Pentateuch (Lev. 19:26; Dt. 18:10, 14) had clearly forbidden soothsayers in the land, but now the land was filled with their presence which demonstrates how far Israel had departed from Jehovah's righteous commandments .

NET Note - Through this line and the preceding, the prophet contends that Israel has heavily borrowed the pagan practices of the east and west (in violation of Lev 19:26; Deut 18:9–14).

Whom should have Judah consulted? Obviously the omniscient One and yet they exchanged this lofty privileged access for lowly pagan inquiry.

Like the Philistines (cp 1Sa 6:2; 2Ki 1:2) - God's holy people were resorting to the unholy practices of the pagans (cp "uncircumcised Philistines" - Jdg 14:3, 1Sa 17:26, 36). This is ever the danger for God's people in this fallen, seductive world. Have you been ensnared by pagan practices and/or practitioners like Nostradamus who appeal to that part in all of us which wants to know the future? If you want to know the real truth about the future, then seek the true Prophet (Jesus Christ - predicted in Dt 18:15, 18), and God's Plan for the Ages in the Bible (see Bible Prophecy and God's Plan for the Ages according to the Bible)

The contemporary prophet Micah has a similar prophecy in which God Himself declares…

I will cut off sorceries (Heb = kesheph = magic, witchcraft, cp 2Ki 9:22, Isa 47:9, 12, Nah 3:4) from your hand (Context: Micah was a prophet to Judah about 700BC and so was a contemporary of Isaiah), And you will have fortunetellers no more. (Mic 5:12-note)

The chosen people repeatedly refused to choose the only God and instead chose those who were no gods. They stubbornly refused to acknowledge in their heart that God is (justifiably) a jealous God (Ex 20:5, 34:14, Dt 4:24, 5:9, 6:15, Josh 24:19) Who tolerates no rivals. Their continual refusal to acknowledge His Lordship in their life, led them to repeatedly incurring the righteous wrath of God God's wrath is not purely vindictive or retributive but ultimately seeks to destroy all idols and foolish religious practices so that His people will recognize Him as the only God. Dear believer, beloved by the Most High God, are there any idols you are hiding in the closet of your heart? I implore you…

Do not be deceived (present imperative + a negative = Stop being led astray, stop being seduced by the vain, empty idols of this present evil world system, Gal 1:4) , God is not mocked (e.g., beware of Israel's bad example - SLOWLY READ AND PONDER 2Chr 36:15, 16, cp Pr 1:30); for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Ho 8:7 contrasted with Ho 10:12). For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit (Jn 6:63) reap eternal life. (Gal 6:7, 8, cp He 3:13-note)

Sow a thought, reap an action.
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.

Are you like Judah and Jerusalem being deceived by sin and tolerating it like a pet? If you are, then you need to remember the fate of the man with the pet boa constrictor (Do a Google search - use the following search terms and keep the quotes as written >> "pet boa" killed). After 15 years of living with his owner, one day the "pet boa" would not let its "owner" out of its grip resulting in the owner's tragic death. Wild animals remain wild and so does Sin. Do not be deceived (Stop being deceived)!

T hey strike bargains with the children of foreigners:

  • Exodus 34:16; Numbers 25:1,2; Deuteronomy 21:11, 12, 13; 1Kings 11:1,2; Nehemiah 13:23; Ps 106:35; Jeremiah 10:2

Strike (56056) (sapaq) is a verb meaning to clap, strike or smite. In this context sapaq refers to the striking of hands, that is, making deals with foreigners. Note that "bargain" is added by the translators to help convey this sense. The NET Note does not necessarily agree that this is the sense of sapaq, but NAS, Amplified, ESV and NIV do pick up this nuance of meaning in their translations. "In Hebrew the root means “to clasp hands with a person,” to associate with someone." (Young)

Entanglement by the Cords of one's own Sin - Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day.” (cp Nu 32:23)

Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to stray!
Cost you more than you ever dreamed you would pay!
Keep you longer than you ever thought you would stay!

Isaiah 2:7 Their land has also been filled with silver and gold and there is no end to their treasures; Their land has also been filled with horses And there is no end to their chariots. (NASB: Lockman)

English Translation of the Greek (Septuagint): For their land is filled with silver and gold, and there was no number of their treasures; their land also is filled with horses, and there was no number of chariots.

Amplified: Their land also is full of silver and gold; neither is there any end to their treasures. Their land is also full of horses; neither is there any end to their chariots. [Dt 17:14, 15, 16, 17] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:

NET: Their land is full of gold and silver; there is no end to their wealth. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. (NJB)

NLT: Their land has also been filled with silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land has also been filled with horses, And there is no end to their chariots. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Young's Literal: And its land is full of silver and gold, And there is no end to its treasures, And its land is full of horses, And there is no end to its chariots,

Their land has also been filled with silver and gold and there is no end to their treasures:

  • Dt 17:16,17; 1Ki 10:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 2Chr 9:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; Jeremiah 5:27,28; Jas 5:1, 2, 3; Re 18:3,11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

SATIATED WITH SILVER!

Filled with silver and gold… no end to their treasures - Judah instead of placing their hope in the Holy One, chose to trust their accumulation of wealth in the form of precious metals and a plethora of possessions. This love of the world's treasures instead of God is as much idolatry as any carved image. In some ways, this misplaced love of money and things is worse than wooden and stone carvings, for it deceives one into justifying that after all I'm not a pagan idol worshiper!" This genre of thinking permeates the insidious idolatry that has permeated American culture in the twenty-first century.

If we fill ourselves with anything other than God, the result is emptiness and abasement.

Jehovah's warning through Moses could not have been any clearer but for the most part Israel's kings (and people, for the people followed their kings - Judges 5:2 says "the leaders led in Israel and the people followed")

"When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. 16 “Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17 “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself (like the wisest man who ever lived did - 1Ki 3:12, 4:31, 1Ki 11:1-2!), lest his heart turn away (1Ki 11:2, 3, 4, 9!); nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. 18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 “And it shall be with him, and he shall read it ALL the days of his life (How better than by Memorizing His Word), that (Always be alert to this strategic, instructive term of purpose) he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that (Another term of purpose) his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that (A third term of purpose in this short warning section!) he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel." (Deut 17:14-20)

Filled (04390 )(male) can have a spatial sense (which is the case in this verse), as when the locusts filled the houses of the Egyptians (Ex 10:6) or the wine press (cp Re 14:19, 20, 19:15) being filled (figuratively speaking of wickedness) (Joel 3:13).\

Filled (male) is again translated in the Septuagint (LXX) with the verb empiplemi (this Greek verb also used in Isa 2:6, 7, 8, 9:19; 11:3, 9; 13:21; 14:21; 21:3; 22:2; 23:18; 27:6; 29:19; 31:4; 33:5; 34:6, 7; 44:16; 58:10, 11; 65:20; 66:11) which means to completely take up the space of something or to provide a sufficient amount (to satisfy - something idols can NEVER do!) See above for discussion of what fills someone will control them!

There is no end in treasures… no end to their chariots (violating Dt 17:16-17 quoted above) - More than enough is never enough! When one of the world's richest men was asked what would it take to make him "happy" (not blessed which is independent of circumstances) he quickly quipped "One dollar more!" Indeed "Greed has two daughters named ‘Give’ and ‘Give.’!" (Pr 30:15)

Paul instructed Timothy (and all disciples of Jesus) to be satisfied with "enough" writing "if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For (don't miss this strategic term of explanation) the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. But flee (present imperative = only possible to obey as we are filled with God's Spirit!) from these things, you man of God and pursue (present imperative) - notice we must not just flee from but we must "flee toward" so to speak -- this is the eternal principle of the expulsive power of fleeing toward a higher, more noble affection as we surrender to the Spirit of Christ - read Thomas Chalmers' classic sermon) righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness." (1Ti 6:8-11). .

Their land has also been filled with horses and there is no end to their chariots:

  • Is 30:16; 31:1; Dt 17:16; 1Ki 4:26; 10:26; Ps 20:7; Ho 14:3

SATIATED WITH STEEDS!

Filled with - Satiated means satisfied to the full. Sadly the land of Judah was satisfied with (gorged with might be a better adjective!) the wells of the world so to speak and not with the Well of Living Water from Yeshua Who satisfies forever! (cp John 4:10, 13, 14, John 7:37-39). Jeremiah said it this way "“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns, That can hold no water." (Jer 2:13)

Horses… chariots - Sadly the wisest man who lived committed this very atrocity -

1 Kings 4:26 And Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.

1Kings 10:26 Now Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.

Wiersbe - The prosperity of the nation made the leaders proud and covetous. Instead of trusting the Lord, they trusted their wealth and war equipment, not realizing that neither would deliver them in the coming day of judgment. (Ibid)

Solomon wisely warned that "Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people." (Pr 14:34)

David admonishes and encourages us with his example writing…

Some boast (trust = KJV) in chariots, and some in horses; BUT (term of contrast) we will boast in the Name of the LORD, our God (see the study - Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower). (Ps 20:7)

Spurgeon comments: Chariots and horses make an imposing show, and with their rattling, and dust, and fine caparisons, make so great a figure that vain man is much taken with them; yet the discerning eye of faith sees more in an invisible God than in all these. The most dreaded war engine of David's day was the war chariot, armed with scythes, which mowed down men like grass: this was the boast and glory of the neighbouring nations; but the saints considered the name of Jehovah to be a far better defence. As the Israelites might not keep horses, it was natural for them to regard the enemy's calvary with more than usual dread. It is, therefore, all the greater evidence of faith that the bold songster can here disdain even the horse of Egypt in comparison with the Lord of hosts. Alas, how many in our day who profess to be the Lord's are as abjectly dependent upon their fellow men or upon an arm of flesh in some shape or other, as if they had never known the name of Jehovah at all. Jesus, be thou alone our rock and refuge, and never may we mar the simplicity of our faith.

We will remember the name of the Lord our God. "Our God" in covenant, who has chosen us and whom we have chosen; this God is our God. The name of our God is JEHOVAH, and this should never be forgotten; the self existent, independent, immutable, ever present, all filling I AM. Let us adore that matchless name, and never dishonour it by distrust or creature confidence. Reader, you must know it before you can remember it. May the blessed Spirit reveal it graciously to your soul!

William Plumer - Vain is the confidence of all wickedness. In war, chariots, horses, navies, numbers, discipline, former successes, are relied on; but the battle is not to the strong. "Providence favours the strong battalions" may sound well in a worldling's ear, but neither Providence nor the Bible so teaches. If peace, riches, friends, ships, farms, stocks, are relied upon, yet they can neither help nor save. Let him who glories, glory in the Lord.

"Some their warrior horses boast,
Some their chariots marshalled host;
But our trust we will proclaim
In our God Jehovah's name."
Richard Mant

Isaiah 2:8 Their land has also been filled with idols; They worship the work of their hands, That which their fingers have made. (NASB: Lockman)

English Translation of the Greek (Septuagint): And the land is filled with abominations, even the works of their hands; and they have worshipped the works which their fingers made.

Amplified: Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, what their own fingers have made. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:

NET: Their land is full of worthless idols; they worship the product of their own hands, what their own fingers have fashioned. (NET Bible)

NJB: the country is full of idols. They bow down before the work of their hands, before what their own fingers have made. (NJB)

NLT: Their land has also been filled with idols; They worship the work of their hands, That which their fingers have made. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Young's Literal: And its land is full of idols, To the work of its hands it boweth itself, To that which its fingers have made,

Their land has also been filled with idols. They worship the work of their hands, that which their fingers have made:

  • Is 57:5; 2Chr 27:2; 28:2, 3, 4,23, 24, 25; 33:3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Jeremiah 2:28; 11:13; Ezekiel 16:23, 24, 25; Hosea 12:11; Acts 17:16
  • Isa 37:19; 44:15-20; Deuteronomy 4:28; Ps 115:4-8; Hosea 8:6; 13:2; 14:3; Revelation 9:20

SATIATED WITH SEMBLANCE

Semblance means the outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different. In the people's eyes man made creations were worshipped and served as if they were gods, when in fact they were not gods at all (Isa 37:19, Jer 16:20, Acts 19:26, Gal 4:8, cp 1Cor 8:4, Ps 115:4-8 = "Those who make them will become like them!").

Their land - Judah and Jerusalem. Jotham and Ahaz, two of the kings under whom Isaiah prophesied, failed to remove the idolatrous high places from the Land (2Ki 15:35; 16:4).

Filled (04390 )(male) is the third uses of this vivid word in this indictment against Judah. It can have a spatial sense (which is the case in this verse), as when the locusts filled the houses of the Egyptians (Ex 10:6) or the wine press (cp Re 14:19, 20, 19:15) being filled (figuratively speaking of wickedness) (Joel 3:13).

As in the other two uses above the Septuagint (LXX) uses the verb empiplemi (also used by the Lxx in Is 2:6, 7, 8, 9:19; 11:3, 9; 13:21; 14:21; 21:3; 22:2; 23:18; 27:6; 29:19; 31:4; 33:5; 34:6, 7; 44:16; 58:10, 11; 65:20; 66:11) which means to completely take up the space of something or to provide a sufficient amount (to satisfy - something idols can NEVER do!) See above for discussion of what fills someone will control them!

ABOMINABLE, DETESTABLE IDOLS

Filled with idols - This is the first use of the word idols in Isaiah. It was not that Judah and Jerusalem just had idols or practiced idolatry, but that they were "filled to the brim" with abominable lifeless idols! Ponder the paradox - filled on one hand versus nothingness (the meaning of the Hebrew noun elilim)! Idols are the ultimate vanity of vanities, like chasing after the wind, grasping after that which yields nothingness!

Ro 1:21-24ff is a good commentary on this verse - "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them (cp God's just judgment in Isaiah 2:9)." O, the folly of idolatry! Lord keep us from idols of whatever size, shape or class we might find ourselves tempted to bow down to. Amen

It is interesting that in a survey of the OT prophets, idols and idolatry per se are not a common theme (except in Ezekiel, Hosea, Isa 40-55), the other prophets being more concerned with the moral offenses of God's people. In Is 2:6-22, the primary focus of the "attack" is pride.

Related Resources: Greek Word studies on - Idols = eidolon; Idolater = eidololatres; Idolatry = eidololatreia

Idols (0457) (elil [plural = elilim]) (Used in Is 2:8, 18, 20; 10:10, 11; 19:1, 3; 31:7) describes that which is worthless, good for nothing, of no value (cp powerlessness). The spelling of the Hebrew word for idol is very close to the Hebrew word for God (= el) (and some etymologists suggest it is actually a diminutive of the Hebrew word for God). The term for God however relates to the idea of strength or power, which makes Isaiah's contrast with "nothing" (eliyl) all that more pointed and dramatic! Worthless and good for nothing is a fitting name for objects of worship made by human hands! God's assessment of any "god" but Himself is that “all gods of the peoples are nought (nothing)” (Ps 96:5YLT = 1Chr 16:26YLT)

Eliyl - 18v in the OT -

Lev. 19:4; 26:1; 1 Chr. 16:26; Job 13:4; Ps. 96:5; 97:7; Is 2:8, 18, 20; 10:10, 11; 19:1, 3; 31:7; Jer. 14:14; Ezek. 30:13; Hab. 2:18; Zech. 11:17

Habakkuk has a classic parody of idols asking…

What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, or an image (KJV = molten image), a teacher of falsehood (lies)? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork when he fashions speechless idols (elilim). 19 "Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, 'Awake!' To a dumb stone, 'Arise!' And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it. 20 "But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him." (Hab 2:18, 19, 20)

Comment: Observe the contrast of lifeless idols with the living LORD, and those who call the idols to "Awake… arise" are told to be silent before the Lord.

The following is a Biblical summary of eliyl - They are the product of human hands (Is 2:8, 20; 31:7; Lv 26:1), and one can therefore discard them (Is 31:7); they are dumb (Hab 2:18); they quiver before Yahweh (Is 19:1) and vanish before Him (Is 2:18). The expression eliyl recalls the impotence and the insignificance of these strange gods. The force of the term is probably most clearly seen in Ps 96:5YLT “for all gods of the peoples are nothing, but Yahweh made the heavens.”

Elilim often parallels other words related to idols - pesel/pāsîl “sculpted image” (Is 10:10; Lv 26:1; Hab 2:18; Ps 97:7), 'atsab “carved image” (Isa 10:11), gilluwl “idols” (Ezek 30:13), and massēkâh “molten image” (Lv 19:4; Hab 2:18).

Eissfeldt (TLOTOT) summarizes the OT designations for “idol” into five groups according to the OT Scriptures…

(1) Derogatory terms: bōšet “shame” (bos = to be ashamed), šiqqûs “horrible thing,” tôebâ “abomination” (tb = abhor), hattat "sin” (ht' = to miss a mark, fall short), 'ēmâ “horror”;

(2) Terms that deny the existence of the gods represented by the idols: hebel “vapor, breath,” šeqer “lie” (šqr = to deceive), šāw “vanity, deceit” elîl “nothing,” lō-ēl (no god) and lō-elōhîm “not-god”

(3) Terms that deny idols divine dignity and relegate them to the sphere of the lower, evil spirits: śeîrîm “satyrs,” šēdîm “demons,” → āwen “harm, disaster, evil power”;

(4) Designations that declare them to be foreign and so more or less explicitly describe them as useless: phrases with ahēr “other”, zār “foreign, strange, different” (verbal adjective of the root of zur = to turn away), nēkār “strange, foreign” → hādāš “new”;

(5) Designations that identify them with their images and so declare them to be lifeless matter: massēkâ and nesek “molten image,” pesel and pāsîl “sculpted image,” ōseb and āsāb “carved image,” → selem and semel “carved image,” gillûlîm “(hewn) blocks of stone,” sîr “image,” maśkît “showpiece,” and neśûâ “processional image.”

The Septuagint (LXX) renders elilim variously, most frequently with cheiropoiēta “human product” (6x) and eidola “idols” (4x).

Paul describes the vanity of idols writing to the Corinthians that…

concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. (1Co 8:4)

The TWOT says that eliyl "comes perhaps from a root meaning “to be weak, deficient.” It is used primarily in Scripture to describe vain objects of worship, i.e. the gods of this world, whether literal idols made with hands, riches, or deceitful men. In Lv 19:4, its first appearance, the word is parallel to “molten gods” (cf. Lv 26:1). It is also applied to any works of one’s hands as an object of worship (Is 2:8; Hab 2:18). In Isaiah’s day, Jerusalem and Samaria were described as kingdoms of idols, i.e. a people who worshipped vain things (Is 10:10,11). Such idols were classed along with divination and lies (Je 14:14). They were clearly good for nothing (Is 2:20; 31:7). They even included people in whom men trusted but who were deceitful and of no value (Job 13:4; Isa 19:3; Zech 11:17). In Scripture they are contrasted to the true God, the Lord, the Creator (Ps 96:5) and before him they tremble (Isa 19:1), are put to shame (Ps 97:7), and are destroyed (Is 2:18) (Harris, R L, Archer, G L & Waltke, B K Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Moody Press)

Eliyl here in Isa 2:8 is translated in the Septuagint (LXX) by the Greek word bdelugma (from bdelusso = emit a foal odor, from bdeo = to stink!) which is literally a foul (as that which causes a stench), loathsome, detestable or abominable thing (used in the Lxx of 1K 11:6, 2Ki 16:3 "abominations"). Bdelugma thus is that which is (or at least should be) extremely hated, abhorred or disgusting. Indeed idols are utterly detestable and cause a stench in God's nostrils! We as men, do not fully comprehend God's utter hatred of idols and if we did I dare say we would be horrified that we still choose to trifle with them from time to time! In Rev 17:4 bdelugma is used in the description of Babylon…

And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality (Revelation 17:4-note)

Tony Garland writes that full of abominations is the same word here in Isa 2:8 (bdelugma) and the idea is…

“Anything that must not be brought before God because it arouses his wrath.”

“Anything connected with idolatry.”

God warned Israel through Moses:

When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations (Lxx = bdelugma) of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination (Lxx = bdelugma) to the LORD, and because of these abominations (Lxx = bdelugma) the LORD your God drives them out from before you. (Dt 18:9, 10, 11, 12)

She (Babylon) is the mother of harlots and of abominations of the earth (Rev. 17:5-note). Thus, she birthed the abominations which are found in the cup which she serves. From this, we know that the woman is not just a figure of the time of the end, but has her roots stretching back to early history. Thus, both the Harlot and the Seven Heads on the Beast which she rides stretch back to early history. See Babylon of Old.

In this passage Isaiah describes Judah's wanton willful affront of God's clear and chief command…

I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. (Ex 20:2, 3)

They worship the work of their hands - This is just another way to say we worship ourselves when we worship the work of our hands and fingers!

Smith adds that "Later sermons emphasize again and again the stupidity of worshiping pieces of wood (Is 41:6, 7, 28, 29; 44:9-20, 45:16, 17, 18, 19, 20; 46:1-7). The irony is cutting. The people of Judah have a glorious God (Is 2:2-5) Who has chosen them as His special people and desires to bless them with everything they would ever need, but they prefer to worship "worthless" pieces of wood and stone that can do "nothing." People in every era of human history have varying degrees of difficulty with living in complete trust of God for all their needs. It is not hard to begin to develop a level of trust in a good paying job, a healthy pension fund, and the military might of nuclear bombs. All too often people begin to trust in what they can provide for themselves, rather than relying on God's provision. (New American Commentary - Volume 15a: Isaiah 1-39) (Bolding added)

Isaiah 2:9 So the common man has been humbled and the man of importance has been abased, but do not forgive them. (NASB: Lockman)

English Translation of the Greek (Septuagint): And the mean man bowed down, and the great man was humbled: and I will not pardon them.

Amplified: And the common man is bowed down [before idols], also the great man is brought low and humbles himself—therefore forgive them not [O Lord]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

NET: Men bow down to them in homage, they lie flat on the ground in worship. Don't spare them! (NET Bible)

NJB: Human nature has been humbled, humankind brought low: do not raise them again! (NJB)

NLT: So the common man has been humbled, And the man of importance has been abased, But do not forgive them.(NLT - Tyndale House)

Young's Literal: And the low boweth down, and the high is humbled, And Thou acceptest them not.

So the common man has been humbled and the man of importance has been abased:

  • Common - Is 5:15; Psalms 49:2; Jeremiah 5:4,5; Romans 3:23; Revelation 6:15-17
  • Humbled - Isa 57:9; Colossians 2:18,23

THE CONSEQUENCES
OF BEING FILLED WITH SIN

ESV So man is humbled, and each one is brought low-- do not forgive them!

So - This conjunction while not used by all translations fits the context well functioning as a term of conclusion.

Chuck Smith writes that in Is 2:9-21 - The Lord will bring down the proud and shake the earth. (Re 6:12-17; He 12:26)

Common man… man of importance - Poor and rich will both be punished. No one will escape.

Young explains that has been humbled "is the equivalent of the prophetic perfect. It is connected with the historical statements of Isaiah 2:6–8 as though it were actually accomplished, “and, as a result, man will be bowed down” (lit., “and man was bowed down”)." (Comment: "The prophetic perfect tense is a literary technique used in the Bible that describes future events that are so certain to happen that they are referred to in the past tense as if they already happened.")

Humbled (07817) (shachach/sahah) (Is 2:9-note, Is 2:11-note, Is 2:17-note) means to be bowed down (brought low), prostrated, humbled which is the sense in this passage. It can also mean to bow in homage (Pr 14:19), to bow (as a mourner Ps 35:14, 38:7), to crouch (as a wild beast, Job 38:40). Later in Isaiah shachach is used of laying low a city or city walls (Is 25:12, 26:5). The Septuagint (Lxx) translates shachach with the verb kupto which literally means to bend forward or stoop down to the ground (e.g., under a burden) or to bow one's head. This latter sense gives us the picture of a man who hangs his head because of shame at his sin. There is an ironic twist with kupto which is used on one hand to describe Israel bowing down and worshiping God (Ex 12:27) not out of shame but out of a sense of reverence. In the present context because they "bowed down" to idols instead of bowing down to Jehovah, they would be "bowed down" by their sense of guilt and shame! The moral is be sure to bow down to God first lest you be tempted to bow down to idols of whatever shape, size or class! And remember to bow down to God is a good "preventative" for it is difficult to bow down to two masters! (cp Mt 6:24-note).

Young adds that "this is not a bowing performed out of adoration, but one which is brought about by compulsion. The people have lived in worldly glory and in utter contempt of the glory of the true God; they will, therefore, one day feel the weight of His punishment, and will be bowed down under it." (Ibid)

Sachach/sahah - 21v in the OT - Job 9:13; 38:40; Ps 10:10; 35:14; 38:6; 42:5, 6, 11; 43:5; 107:39; Pr 14:19; Eccl 12:4; Isa. 2:9, 11, 17; 5:15; 25:12; 26:5; 29:4; 60:14; Hab 3:6 and is rendered in the NAS as been humbled(1), bow down(1), bowed down(3), bowing(1), bows down(1), bring down(1), brought low(1), collapsed(1), crouch(2), despair(4), humbled(3), prostrate(1), sing softly(1).

Abased (08213) (shaphel/sapal [word study]) (Frequent in Isaiah - Is 2:9, 11, 12, 17; 5:15; 10:33; 13:11; 25:11, 12; 26:5; 29:4; 32:19; 40:4; 57:9) conveys the basic sense of to be low physically, which leads to the more important figurative meanings of abasement, humbling, humility. The Lxx translates shaphel with the verb tapeinoo which means to bring low and figuratively to bring someone to a lower place in order to abase or humiliate them.

The NIV has "man will be brought low" but this is a doubtful translation of the verb shaphel/sapal.

But do not forgive them:

  • But - Is 27:11; Joshua 24:19; Jeremiah 18:23; Mark 3:29

Do not forgive - This has the sense of a command from God! Their condemnation is certain! No place for pardon! Their doom is sure!

While I believe the Bible teaches that no one is out of the sphere of God's forgiveness (cp God's heart toward sinful men - 2Pe 3:9-note) which is made possible by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, there does come a point when hearts are so hardened (1Sa 6:6, 2Chr 30:10, 36:16b) that this fateful cry is warranted - do not forgive them! In Ex 34:7 we read "He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished."

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