Isaiah 2:17
And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down.—Iteration is used as the most solemn form of emphasis. That was the burden of the prophet’s song.

Isaiah 2:17-18. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down — Here the prophet expresses literally what he had delivered metaphorically in the preceding verses. The same things were asserted Isaiah 2:11, but they are here repeated, partly to assure the people of the certainty of them, and partly to fix them more deeply in their minds, because men are very backward to believe and consider things of this nature. And the idols he shall utterly abolish — He will discover the impotency of idols to succour their worshippers, and thereby destroy the worship of them in the world.2:10-22 The taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans seems first meant here, when idolatry among the Jews was done away; but our thoughts are led forward to the destruction of all the enemies of Christ. It is folly for those who are pursued by the wrath of God, to think to hide or shelter themselves from it. The shaking of the earth will be terrible to those who set their affections on things of the earth. Men's haughtiness will be brought down, either by the grace of God convincing them of the evil of pride, or by the providence of God depriving them of all the things they were proud of. The day of the Lord shall be upon those things in which they put their confidence. Those who will not be reasoned out of their sins, sooner or later shall be frightened out of them. Covetous men make money their god; but the time will come when they will feel it as much their burden. This whole passage may be applied to the case of an awakened sinner, ready to leave all that his soul may be saved. The Jews were prone to rely on their heathen neighbours; but they are here called upon to cease from depending on mortal man. We are all prone to the same sin. Then let not man be your fear, let not him be your hope; but let your hope be in the Lord your God. Let us make this our great concern.And the loftiness ... - see the note at Isaiah 2:11. The repetition of this makes it strongly emphatic. 17. Repeated from Isa 2:11, for emphatic confirmation. This he repeats again, partly to assure us of the certainty of it, and partly to fix it deeper in men’s minds, because they are very backward to believe and consider things of this nature. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down,.... This, with what follows in this verse, is repeated for the confirmation and certainty of it; and also for the further explanation of what is before figuratively and metaphorically expressed. See Gill on Isaiah 2:11. Jarchi interprets "that day", here spoken of, of the day of judgment; and then indeed every tongue shall confess, whether they will or not, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, Philippians 2:11. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 17. - The loftiness of man. This verse interrupts the sequence of the thoughts somewhat awkwardly. It is a sort of refrain (see ver. 11; and for the use of refrains in Hebrew poetry, see Exodus 15:1, 21; Psalm evil. 8, 15, 21, 31), and perhaps comes in for rhythmical reasons, to the detriment of the sense. It was a state ripe for judgment, from which, therefore, the prophet could at once proceed, without any further preparation, to the proclamation of judgment itself."Thus, then, men are bowed down, and lords are brought low; and forgive them - no, that Thou wilt not." The consecutive futures depict the judgment, as one which would follow by inward necessity from the worldly and ungodly glory of the existing state of things. The future is frequently used in this way (for example, in Isaiah 9:7.). It was a judgment by which small and great, i.e., the people in all its classes, were brought down from their false eminence. "Men" and "lords" (âdâm and ish, as in Isaiah 5:15; Psalm 49:3, and Proverbs 8:4, and like άνθρωπος and ανήρ in the Attic dialect), i.e., men who were lost in the crowd, and men who rose above it - all of them the judgment would throw down to the ground, and that without mercy (Revelation 6:15). The prophet expresses the conviction (al as in 2 Kings 6:27), that on this occasion God neither could nor would take away the sin by forgiving it. There was nothing left for them, therefore, but to carry out the command of the prophet in Isaiah 2:10 : "Creep into the rock, and bury thyself in the dust, before the terrible look of Jehovah, and before the glory of His majesty." The glorious nation would hide itself most ignominiously, when the only true glory of Jehovah, which had been rejected by it, was manifested in judgment. They would conceal themselves in holes of the rocks, as if before a hostile army (Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6; 1 Samuel 14:11), and bury themselves with their faces in the sand, as if before the fatal simōm of the desert, that they might not have to bear this intolerable sight. And when Jehovah manifested Himself in this way in the fiery glance of judgment, the result summed up in Isaiah 2:11 must follow: "The people's eyes of haughtiness are humbled, and the pride of their lords is bowed down; and Jehovah, He only, stands exalted in that day." The result of the process of judgment is expressed in perfects: nisgab is the third pers. praet., not the participle: Jehovah "is exalted," i.e., shows Himself as exalted, whilst the haughty conduct of the people is brought down (shâphel is a verb, not an adjective; it is construed in the singular by attraction, and either refers to âdâm, man or people: Ges. 148, 1; or what is more probable, to the logical unity of the compound notion which is taken as subject, the constr. ad synesin s. sensum: Thiersch, 118), and the pride of the lords is bowed down (shach equals shâchach, Job 9:13). The first strophe of the proclamation of judgment appended to the prophetic saying in Isaiah 2:2-4 is here brought to a close. The second strophe reaches to Isaiah 2:17, where Isaiah 2:11 is repeated as a concluding verse.
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