Isaiah 26:6
The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Even the feet of the poor . . .—The downfall of the haughty city is emphasised by the fact that the instruments of its destruction are to be the very people it had oppressed. The “saints of God” are in this sense to judge the world.

26:5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course of obedience and holy conversation. And it is their happiness that God makes their way plain and easy. It is our duty, and will be our comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward him in the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles must never turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night of affliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we must wait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion, whatever our profession may be, if we do not make heart-work of it. Though we come ever so early, we shall find God ready to receive us. The intention of afflictions is to teach righteousness: blessed is the man whom the Lord thus teaches. But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go on in their evil ways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose laws they persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortly feel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the evil of sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandon their sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have mercy upon them.The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor - That is, evidently, those who had been despised by them, and who had been overcome and oppressed by them. The obvious reference here is to the Jews who had been captives there. The idea is not necessarily that the 'poor' referred to here I would be among the conquerors, but that when the Babylonians should be overcome, and their city destroyed, those who were then oppressed should be in circumstances of comparative prosperity. No doubt the Jews, who in subsequent times traveled to the site of Babylon for purposes of traffic, would trample indignantly on the remains of the city where their fathers were captives for seventy years, and would exult in the idea that their own once down-trodden city Jerusalem was in a condition of comparative prosperity. That there were many Jews in Babylon after that city began to decline from its haughtiness and grandeur, we learn expressly from both Philo and Josephus. Thus Philo (De Legatione ad Caium, p. 792) says, that 'it is known that Babylon and many other satraps were possessed by the Jews, not only by rumour, but by experience.' So Josephus (Ant. xv. 2.) says, that there were in the time of Hyrcanus many Jews at Babylon. 6. poor—(Isa 25:4), the once afflicted Jewish captives. "Foot shall tread," is figurative for exulting in the fall of God's enemies (Re 18:20). God will bring it under the feet of his poor, and weak, and despised people. The foot shall tread it down,.... Trample upon it when brought down, laid low, and level with the ground, as mire is trodden in the streets, and straw for the dunghill; as grapes in the winepress, or grass by the feet of cattle: not the foot of a prince, as Aben Ezra observes, or of mighty men; but, as follows,

even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy; these are not the Israelites in a literal sense, as Kimchi explains it; but the spiritual Israel of God; the righteous, as the Targum paraphrases it; the saints of the most High, to whom the kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven will now be given, and who will be just come out of great tribulation; for the words suggest, that the people of God will be a poor and afflicted people, and very feeble, and sore distressed, a little before the destruction of antichrist; but as God has been always used to do his work by the poor and weak things of this world, by mean and feeble instruments, so he will now, and raise his poor and needy ones to a very high and exalted estate; all their enemies shall be subdued and crushed under their feet; see Malachi 4:3 Jarchi interprets the feet of the poor of the feet of the King Messiah, according to Zechariah 9:9.

The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the {f} poor, and the steps of the needy.

(f) God will set the poor afflicted over the power of the wicked.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. The poor and needy are the Jews, as in ch. Isaiah 25:4. The oppressed triumph over their oppressors. But that they are actually the instruments of Jehovah’s vengeance on the “lofty city” is not necessarily implied.Verse 6. - The foot shall tread it down; rather, trode it down. The feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy; i.e. the feet of God's people, the weak and afflicted of this world, trod down ultimately, or brought to destruction and ruin, the great world-power - not so much that they were victorious in an actual physical contest, as that they, finally triumphed through God's judgment on the world-power, which brought it to naught, and left it for his people to show their contempt by trampling upon the smoking ruins. In the land of promise there is rejoicing, but on the other side of the Jordan there is fear of ruin. Two contrasted pictures are placed here side by side. The Jordan is the same as the "great gulf" in the parable of the rich man. Upon Zion Jehovah descends in mercy, but upon the highlands of Moab in His wrath. "For the hand of Jehovah will sink down upon this mountain, and Moab is trodden down there where it is, as straw is trodden down in the water of the dung-pit. And he spreadeth out his hands in the pool therein, as the swimmer spreadeth them out to swim; but Jehovah forceth down the pride of Moab in spite of the artifices of his hands. Yea, thy steep, towering walls He bows down, forces under, and casts earthwards into dust." Jehovah brings down His hand upon Zion (nūach, as in Isaiah 7:2; Isaiah 11:1), not only to shelter, but also to avenge. Israel, that has been despised, He now makes glorious, and for contemptuous Moab He prepares a shameful end. In the place where it now is תּחתּיו, as in 2 Samuel 7:10; Habakkuk 3:16, "in its own place," its own land) it is threshed down, stamped or trodden down, as straw is trodden down into a dung-pit to turn it into manure: hiddūsh, the inf. constr., with the vowel sound u, possibly to distinguish it from the inf. absol. hiddosh (Ewald, 240, b). Instead of בּמו (as in Isaiah 43:2), the chethib has בּמי (cf., Job 9:30); and this is probably the more correct reading, since madmēnâh, by itself, means the dunghill, and not the tank of dung water. At the same time, it is quite possible that b'mo is intended as a play upon the name Moab, just as the word madmēnâh may possibly have been chosen with a play upon the Moabitish Madmēn (Jeremiah 48:2). In Isaiah 25:11 Jehovah would be the subject, if b'kirbo (in the midst of it) referred back to Moab; but although the figure of Jehovah pressing down the pride of Moab, by spreading out His hands within it like a swimmer, might produce the impression of boldness and dignity in a different connection, yet here, where Moab has just been described as forced down into the manure-pit, the comparison of Jehovah to a swimmer would be a very offensive one. The swimmer is Moab itself, as Gesenius, Hitzig, Knobel, and in fact the majority of commentators suppose. "In the midst of it:" b'kirbo points back in a neuter sense to the place into which Moab had been violently plunged, and which was so little adapted for swimming. A man cannot swim in a manure pond; but Moab attempts it, though without success, for Jehovah presses down the pride of Moab in spite of its artifices עם, as in Nehemiah 5:18; ארבּות, written with dagesh (according to the majority of MSS, from ארבּה, like the Arabic urbe, irbe, cleverness, wit, sharpness), i.e., the skilful and cunning movement of its hands. Saad. gives it correctly, as muchâtale, wiles and stratagems; Hitzig also renders it "machinations," i.e., twistings and turnings, which Moab makes with its arms, for the purpose of keeping itself up in the water. What Isaiah 25:11 affirms in figure, Isaiah 25:12 illustrates without any figure. If the reading were מבצרך חומות משׂגּב, the reference would be to Kir-Moab (Isaiah 15:1; Isaiah 16:7). But as the text stands, we are evidently to understand by it the strong and lofty walls of the cities of Moab in general.
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