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1 1 Pet. 2. 10.
25 Whom the Lord of hosts the work of my hands, and Is shall bless, saying, Blessed be rael mine inheritance. Egypt my people, and Assyria
u Eph. 2 10. point, the true religion was dissemi- land and people which is peculiarly my nated throughout all nations.
own-a name not unfrequently given 25. Whom the LORD of hosts shall to Israel. For a learned examination bless. That is, which united country of the various hypotheses in regard te he shall acknowledge as truly worship- the fulfilment of this prophecy, see ping him, and on which he shall be- Vitringa. He himself applies it to the stow his favours as his favoured people. times succeeding Alexander the Great.
Assyria the work of my hands. This Alexander he regards as the “saviour" is synonymous with the expression mentioned in ver. 20; and the estab
my people. It means that the ar- lishment of the true religion referred rangements by which the true religion to by the prophet as that which would would be established among them, take place under the Ptoleries. Vi. were the work of God. Conversion to tringa has proved—what indeed is God is every where in the Scriptures known to all who have the slightest spoken of as his work, or creation. See knowledge of history—that there were Eph. ii. 10: "For we are his work- large numbers of Jews under the Pto. manship ; created in Christ Jesus unto lemies in Egypt, and that maltitudes good works.” Comp. 2 Cor. v. 17. Ps. became proselytes to the Jewish faith. c. 3. Israel mine inheritance. The
This prophecy occupies this single chapter. Its design and scope it is not difficult to understand The time when it was delivered is designated in ver. 1, und was manifestly in the reign of Hezekiah. The Assyrian empire had extended its conquests over Syria, Damascus, and Ephraim or Samant 2 Kings xviii. 9-12. The king of Assyria had sent Tartan to take possession of Ashdod or Azolis, the maritime key of Palestine, and there was evident danger that the Assyrians would overtire the government of Judah, and secure also the conquest of Egypt. In these circumstances of danger, the minin reliance of Judah was on the aid which they hoped to derive from Egypt and Einiqua (ver 8), as being alone able to repel the Assyrians. They relied rather on that aid than on Go To recall them from this, and to show them the vanity of such a dependence, and to lead them to rely on God, Isaiah was sent to them to be a sign; or to indicate by a symbolical action what would be the fate of the Egyptians on whom they were placing their reliance, ver. 4. By showing the Jews what would be the destiny of Egypt, he designed to withdraw them from resting on their assistance, and to turn them to God for protection and aid.
1 In the year” that Tartan gon the king of Assyria sent came unto Ashdod, (when Sar- him,) and fought against Ashded
and took it; to 2 Kings 18. 17. 1. In the year that Tartan came un- one of the five cities of the Philistines to Ashdod. Tartan was one of the assigned to the tribe of Judah, but generals of Sennacherib. Ashdod, call- never conquered by them. Josh. xiii. ed by the Greeks Azotus, was a sea- 8, xv. 46, 47. The temple of Dagon port on the Mediterranean between stood here ; and hither the ark of God Askelon and Ekron, and not far from was brought after the fatal battle of Gaza. Reland. Palæs. Lib. iii. It was Ebenezer. 1 Sam. v. 1, seg. It sus
2 At the same time spake the cloth from off thy loins, and put LOR ) by Isaiah the son of Amoz, off thy shoe from thy foot. And saying, Go, and loose the sack- he did so, walking naked and
barefoot. 6 by the hand of tained many sieges, and was regarded dress. was made usually of the as an important place in respect to coarse hair of the goat, and was worn Palestine, and also to Egypt. It was as a zone or girdle around the loing. taken by Tartan, and remained in the That this was the dress of Elijah is possession of the Assyrians until it was apparent from 2 Kings i. 8: “He was besieged by Psammetichus the Egyp- an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of tian king, who took it after a siege of leather;" that is, he was clothed in a twenty-nine years. Herod. ii. 157. It garment made of hair. The same was was about thirty miles from Gaza. It true of John the Baptist. Matth. iii. 4. is now a small village, and is called That the prophets wore “ a rough garEsdud. It was besieged and taken by ment” is apparent also from Zech. xiii. Tartan as preparatory to the conquest | 4: “ Neither shall they (the false proof Egypt; and if the king who is here phets) wear a rough garment (Heb. & called Sargon was Sennacherib, it is garment of hair) to deceive;" i. e. the probable that it was taken before he false prophets shall not assume the threatened Jerusalem. I Sargon the dress of the true prophets for the perking of Assyria. Who this Sargon pose of deluding the people, or to make was, is not certainly known. Some them think that they are true prohave supposed that it was Sennacherib; phets. It is evident, therefore, that others that it was Shalmaneser the this hairy garment was regarded as a father of Sennacherib, and others that dress that appertained particularly to It was Esar-Haddon the successor of the prophets. It is well known, also, Sennacherib. Michaelis. Rosenmuller that the ancient Greek philosophers and Gesenius suppose that it was a had a peculiar dress to distinguish king who reigned between Shalmaneser them from the common people. Probaand Sennacherib. Tartan is known to bly the custom of wearing hair cloth have been a general of Sennacherib among the monks of later ages took its (2 Kings xviii. 17), and it is natural rise from this example of the prophets. .0 suppose that he is here intended. His removing this garment was designed Jerome says that Sennacherib had to be a sign or an emblem to show that seven names, and Kimchi says that he the Egyptians should be stripped of all had eight; and it is not improbable that their possessions, and carried captive Sargon was one of those names. Ori- to Assyria. [ Walking naked. That ental princes often had several names; is, walking without this peculiar proand hence the difficulty of identifying phetic garment. It does not mean that them. See Vitringa on this place. he was in a state of entire nudity; for
2. By Isaiah. Marg. “ By the hand all that he was directed to do was to of Isaiah.” So the Hebrew. That is, | lay this garmentthis emblem of his by the instrumentality of Isaiah. He office-aside. The word naked, moresent him to make known the fate of over, is used in the Scriptures, not to the Egyptians, and the folly of trusting denote an absolute destitution of clothin them on this occasion. I Go, and ing, but that the outer garment was loose the sackcloth. For the meaning laid aside. See Note John xxi. 7. of the word sackcloth, see Note, ch. iii. Thus it is said of Saul (1 Sam. xix. 24) 24. It was commonly worn that he "stripped off his clothes also, emblem of mourning. But there is and prophesied before Samuel, and lay reason to believe that it was worn also down naked all that day;" i. e. he by the prophets, and was regarded, stripped off his royal robes, and was in some degree, as their appropriate naked or unclothed in that respect. 3 And the Lord said, Like as naked and barefoot three years my servant Isaiah hath walked for a sign and wonder upop
le removed his peculiar dress as a of time; or, as Aben Ezra and Abar. king, or military chieftain, and ap- benel suppose, that he signified that peared in the ordinary dress. It can- their captivity would commence afte: not be supposed that the king of Israel three years. Lowth supposes that it would be seen literally wiibout rai- means that his walking was for three inent. So David is said to have danced days, and that the Hebrew text has naked before the ark, i. e. with his been corrupted. Vitringa also seems royal robes laid aside. How long to suppose that this is possible, and Isaiah walked in this manner has been that a day was a symbolical sign for a a natter of doubt. See Note on v. 3. year. Rosenmüller supposes that this The prophets were accustomed to use prophetic action was continued during symbolical actions to denote the events three years at intervals, so that the which they foretold: See Note ch. viii. subject might be kept before the mind 18. Thus the children of Isaiah, and of the people. But the supposition that the names given to them, were signifi-| this means that the symbolic action of cant of important events ; ch. viii. 1, 2, walking naked and barefoot continued 3, comp. Jeremiah xviii. 1-6, xliii. 8, for so long a time in any manner, is 9; in both of which places he used em- highly improbable. (1.) The Hebrew blematic actions to exhibit the events does not necessarily require it. It may concerning which he prophesied in a mean simply that his actions were a striking manner. Thus also the pro- sign and wonder with reference to a phets are expressly called “ signs, and three-years' captivity of the Egyptians. wonders." Zech. iii. 8. Ez. xii. 6. (2.) It is in itself improbable that he 3. Like as.
That is, ' as Isaiah has should so long a time walk about Jerugone stripped of his peculiar garment salem expressly as a sign and wonder, as a prophet, so shall the Egyptians when a much shorter period would and Ethiopians be stripped of all that have answered the purpose as well. they value, and be carried captive into (3.) Such a sign would have hardly Assyria.' Hath walked-three years. met the circumstances of the case. A great deal of difficulty has been felt Ashdod was taken. The Assyrian in the interpretation of this place, from king was advancing. The Jews were the strong improbability that Isaiah in consternation and looking to Egypt should have gone in this manner for a for help; and amidst this agitation and space of time so long as our translation alarm, there is the highest improbability expresses. The LXX render this,“ as that Isaiah would be required to remain my servant Isaiah hath walked naked a sign and wonder for the long space and barefoot three years, three years of three years, when decided action was shall be for signs and wonders to the needed, and when, unless prevented, Egyptians and Ethiopians.” The phrase the Jews would have fornied a speedy in the Hebrew, three years," may alliance with the Egyptians. I supeither be taken in connection with the pose, therefore, that the entire sense preceding part of the sentence, as in of the phrase will be expressed by our translation, meaning that he actu- translating it,' my servant Isaiah hath ally walked so long; or it may be walked naked and barefoot, a threetaken with that which follows, and years' sign and wonder;' that is, a sigo when it will denote that he was a sign and indication that a three-years ca and wonder with reference to the cap- lamity would come apon Egypt and livity of the Egyptians and Ethiopians; Ethiopia. Whether this means that and that by this symbolical action he, the calamity would commence in three in some way, indicated that they would years from that time, or that it should be carried away captive for that space continue three years, perhaps we can.
Egypt ånd upon Ethiopia ; and ashamed of Ethiopia their
4 So shall the king of Assyria expectation, and of Egypt their lead away the 'Egyptians pri- glory. soners, and the Ethiopians cap- 6 And the inhabitant of this tives, young and old, naked and 'isle shall say in that day, Be. barefoot, even with their buttocks hold, such is our expectation, uncovered, to the 'shame of whither we flee for help to be Egypt.
delivered from the king of As. 5 And they shall be afraid syria : and how shall we escape ? 1 captivity of Egypt.
1 or, country, Jer. 47. 4.
Job 6. 20.
not determine. Grotius thinks that it have been when this prophecy was demeans that it would occur after three livered. Thus Nahum iii. 8: years; that is, that the war between
Ethlopia and Egypt were her strength, and it the Assyrians and Ethiopians would
Put and Lubiin were thy helpers. continue during that time only. In what manner Isaiah indicated this, is I To the shame of Egypt. It shall be not certainly known. The conjecture a disgrace to them to be subdued, and of Lowth is not improbable, that it was to be carried captive in so humiliating by appearing three days naked and a manner. It is remarked by Belzoni barefoot, and that each day denoted a “ Operations and Recent Discoveries year. Or it may have been that he in Egypt and Nubia"), that in the appeared in this manner for a short figures on the remains of their temples, period—though but once--and declared prisoners are often represented as nathat this was the design or purport of ked, or only in aprons, with dishevelled the action. 1 Upon Egypt, &c. With hair, and with their hands chained. reference to; or as a sign in regard to He also remarks, that on a bas-relief Egypt. It does not mean that he was on the recently discovered graves of in Egypt, but that his action had the kings of Thebes, a multitude of reference to Egypt. [ And Ethiopia. Egyptian and Ethiopian prisoners are Heb. 193-Cush. See Note, ch. xi. represented-showing that Egypt and :1. Whether this denotes the African in mutual defence and in bondage.
Ethiopia were sometimes allied, alike Cush or Ethiopia, or whether it refers to the Cush in Arabia, cannot be des Comp. Isa. xlvii. 2, and Nahum üi. V. termined. The latter is the more
5. And they shall be afraid. The probable supposition, as it is scarcely the Jews that were expecting aid from
Jews, or the party or faction among probable that the Assyrian would extend his conquests south of Egypt so
allied Ethiopia and Egypt. When they as to subdue the African Ethiopia. apprehend a similar danger to them.
shall see them vanquished, they shall Probably his conquest embraced the Cush that was situated in the southern selves; and they shall be ashamed that regions of Arabia.
they ever confided in a people so little 4. So shall the king of Assyria. able to aid them, instead of trusting in
the arm of God. The emphasis here is on the word 80.
[ Egypt their glory. As Isaiah has walked naked, i. e.
Their boast, as if Egypt was able to
save them. The word here rendered stripped off his usual clothing, so shall the Egyptians and Ethiopians be led glory, om, means properly ornaaway stripped of all their possessions. ment, praise, honour; ar.d then it may 1 The Egyptians prisoners, and the mean the object of glory, or that in Ethiopians captives. The Egyptians which men boast, or confide. That is and Ethiopians, or Cushites, were often its sense here. Comp. Isa. x. 12, xiü. apited in an alliance, and appear to 19. Zech. xii. 7.
6. And the inhabitant. The dwell- | folly in trusting in Egypt, and seeking ers generally. S Of this isle. The deliverance there. I and how shall word "isle is used here in the sense
we escape ? They shall be alarmed of coast, or maritime country, and is for their own safety, for the very nation evidently applied to Palestine, or the
on which they had relied had been land of Canaan, which is a narrow
made captive. And when the stronge coast lying on the Mediterranean. had been subdued, how could the feeThat the word is often used in this ble and dependent escape a similar sense, and may be applied to a mari- overthrow and captivity? All this was time country, see Notes ch. xiii. 22, designed to show them the folly of trustxli. 1. The connection here requires us ing in the aid of another nation, and ic to understand it of Palestine. I Shall lead them to put confidence in the God Shall condemn their own
of their fathers.
CHAPTER XXI. 1-10.
The prophecy which commencen this chapter occupies the first ten verses. That it rel les to Babylon is apparent from vs, 2 and 9. The object is to foretell the destruction or that city by the Medes and Persians, and the design is the same as in the more extended and minute description of the same event in chs. xiii. xiv. Whether it was delivered at the same, or at another time, cantot be determined from the prophecy. The purpose however of the prophecy is the same as therr--to give consolation to the Jews who should be carried captive to that city; to assure them that Baly. lon would be destroyed, and that they would be delivered from their long and severe Londage. This is indicated in a brief and graphic manner in ver. 10.
This oracle or ode is one of singular beauty. It is distinguished for its brevity, energy, and fores; for the variety and the rapidity of the action, and for the vivid manner in which the events are made to pass before the mind. It is the language of strong excitement and of alarm; language that er presses rapid and important movements, and language appropriate to great vigour of conception and sublimity in description. In the oracle the prophet supposes himselt in Babylon, and the eventa which are described are made to pass rapidly in vision (sce Intro. $ 7,4) before him. He first ee (ver. 1) the dreadful storm coming at a distance (the hostile armies), approaching like a whirlwid and threatening destruction to every thing in its way. He then (ver. 2) hears God's direction to the invading armies: represents himself as made acquainted with the design of the vision and hears the command of God to Elam (Persin) and Media to go up and commence the siege. Regardiog hinse it as among the exiles in the midst of Babylon, he (vs. 3, 4) describes himself as dee. ly affected ir view of this sudden invasion, and of the calamities that were coming upon Babylon. In ser, 3 he describes the state of the Babyloniang
They are represented first, as preparing the table, making ready for feasting and revelry, setting the watch on the watch-tower, and giving themselves up to dissipation; and seondly, as suddenly alarmed and summoned to prepare for war. He then (13. 69) declares the way in which the princes of Babylon would be roused from their revelry. But it is described in a very remarkable manner. He does not narrate the events, but he represents himself as directed to appoint a watchman (ver 6) to announce what he should see That watchman ver. 7) secs two chariots--representing two nations coming rapidly onward to execute the orders of God. do rapid is their approach, so terrible their march, that the watchman cries out (ver. 9) that Babylon is fallen, and will be inevitably destroyed. The prophecy is then closed (ver. 10) by an adless to the aftlicted Jews whom God had *threshed" or punished by sending them captive to Babylon. and with the declaration that this was intended by the Lord of hosts to bo declared unto them. The whole design of the prophecy, therefore, is to console them, and to repeat the assurance given in chs. xii. xiv., that Babylon would be destroyed, and that they would be delivered from boodage.
1 The burden of the desert of south pass through; so it come. the sea. As whirlwinds din the
d Zech. 9. 14.
1. The burden. See Note ch. xiii.
or the country about Babylon, there 1. I of the desert. There have
can be no doubt; but the question why been almost as many interpretations this phrase was applied, has given rise of this expression as there have been to a great diversity of opinions. The interpreters. That it means Babylon, term desert 727 is usually applied to