Isaiah 28:18
And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing whip shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Isaiah 28:18-19. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled — Made void, or of none effect. Ye shall be trodden down — Namely, by the overflowing scourge, which you flattered yourselves should not come unto you. From the time that it goeth forth — Namely, from me into the land, it shall assuredly, and with the first, seize upon and carry away you scoffers. Morning by morning it shall pass over, &c. — It shall not only come to you, but it shall abide upon you; and when it hath passed over you, it shall return again to you, morning after morning, and shall follow you day and night, without giving you the least respite. It shall be a vexation to understand the report — So dreadful shall the judgment be, that it shall strike you with horror when you only hear the rumour of its approach.28:16-22 Here is a promise of Christ, as the only foundation of hope for escaping the wrath to come. This foundation was laid in Zion, in the eternal counsels of God. This foundation is a stone, firm and able to support his church. It is a tried stone, a chosen stone, approved of God, and never failed any who made trial of it. A corner stone, binding together the whole building, and bearing the whole weight; precious in the sight of the Lord, and of every believer; a sure foundation on which to build. And he who in any age or nation shall believe this testimony, and rest all his hopes, and his never-dying soul on this foundation, shall never be confounded. The right effect of faith in Christ is, to quiet and calm the soul, till events shall be timed by Him, who has all times in his own hand and power. Whatever men trust to for justification, except the righteousness of Christ; or for wisdom, strength, and holiness, except the influences of the Holy Ghost; or for happiness, except the favour of God; that protection in which they thought to shelter themselves, will prove not enough to answer the intention. Those who rest in a righteousness of their own, will have deceived themselves: the bed is too short, the covering too narrow. God will be glorified in the fulfilling of his counsels. If those that profess to be members of God's church, make themselves like Philistines and Canaanites, they must expect to be dealt with as such. Then dare not to ridicule the reproofs of God's word, or the approaches of judgements.And your covenant with death - (see the note at Isaiah 28:15).

Shall be disannulled - The word rendered 'shall be disannulled,' (וכפר vekupar from כפר kâphar), properly means "to cover, overlay;" then to pardon, forgive; then to make atonement, to expiate. It has the idea of blotting out, forgiving, and obliterating - because a writing in wax was obliterated or "covered" by passing the "stylus" over it. Hence, also, the idea of abolishing, or rendering nought, which is the idea here. "When the overflowing scourge" (see the note at Isaiah 28:15).

Then ye shall be trodden down by it - There is in this verse a great intermingling of metaphor, not less than three figures being employed to denote the calamity. There is first the scourge, an instrument of punishment; there is then the idea of inundating waters or floods; then there is also the idea of a warrior or an invading army that treads down an enemy. All the images are designed to denote essentially the same thing, that the judgments of God would come upon the land, and that nothing in which they had trusted would constitute a refuge.

18. disannulled—obliterated, as letters traced on a waxen tablet are obliterated by passing the stylus over it.

trodden down—passing from the metaphor in "scourge" to the thing meant, the army which treads down its enemies.

Disannulled; made void, or of none effect; it shall stand you in no stead.

Ye shall be trodden down by it; which you flattered yourselves that it should not come unto you, Isaiah 28:15. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled,.... Or, "be besmeared" (x), or daubed over, as the ark was with pitch, Genesis 6:14 where the same word is used as here; so that it shall not be legible, as any writing that is blotted out by ink, or any other liquor, so that it cannot be read; in like manner this their covenant with death should be so obliterated, that the articles of it could not be made out, and so of no force; thus the Targum renders it,

"shall be made void;''

See Gill on Isaiah 28:15,

and your agreement with hell shall not stand; or "vision", or "provision" (y); which they had made by compact, with the greatest care, caution, and foresight, to secure themselves from destruction, would be found insufficient. The Targum is,

"and our peace, which was with the destroyer, shall not stand;''

See Gill on Isaiah 28:15,

when the overflowing scourge shall pass through: the land of Judea and the city of Jerusalem; See Gill on Isaiah 28:15,

then shall ye be trodden down by it: though they flattered themselves it should not come near them, yet it would; and they would not be able to stand before it, but would be thrown down, and trampled upon by it as the mire of the streets; see Luke 21:24.

(x) "Heb. oblinetur", Piscator; "quasi pica illita tabulae literaeque foederis incrustentur, inducantur ac dispereant", Gusset. Comment. Ebr. p. 397. (y) "et visio vestra", Vatablus; "cautio vestra", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Heb. "visio", i.e. "provisio", Piscator.

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. See on Isaiah 28:15. shall be disannulled] lit. “smeared over” (cf. Genesis 6:14) i.e. “cancelled,” “obliterated.” The verb is the technical word for expiate (as e.g. Isaiah 22:14), and although it is nowhere else in the O.T. used exactly as here, the sense is supported by Syriac usage, and an alteration of the text is not necessary.Verse 18. - And your covenant with death shall be disannulled; or, wiped out. The entire clever arrangement, by which they thought to avert the danger from themselves and from Judaea, shall come to naught. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. As the prophet continues, his metaphor becomes still more mixed. "Treading down" was so familiar an expression for destroying, that, perhaps, its literal sense was overlooked (comp. Isaiah 5:5; Isaiah 7:25; Isaiah 10:6; Daniel 8:13; Micah 7:10; Zechariah 10:5, etc.). The prophet takes the ki ("for") out of their mouths, and carries it on in his own way. It was quite right that their ungodliness should show itself in such a way as this, for it would meet with an appropriate punishment. "For through men stammering in speech, and through a strange tongue, will He speak to this people. He who said to them, There is rest, give rest to weary ones, and there is refreshing! But they would not hear. Therefore the word of Jehovah becomes to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, a little here, a little there, that they may go and stumble backwards, and be wrecked to pieces, and be snared and taken." Jehovah would speak to the scoffing people of stammering tongue a language of the same kind, since He would speak to them by a people that stammered in their estimation, i.e., who talked as barbarians (cf., βαρβαρίζειν and balbutire; see Isaiah 33:19, compared with Deuteronomy 28:49). The Assyrian Semitic had the same sound in the ear of an Israelite, as Low Saxon (a provincial dialect) in the ear of an educated German; in addition to which, it was plentifully mixed up with Iranian, and possibly also with Tatar elements. This people would practically interpret the will of Jehovah in its own patios to the despisers of the prophet. Jehovah had directed them, through His prophets, after the judgments which they had experienced with sufficient severity (Isaiah 1:5.), into the true way to rest and refreshing (Jeremiah 6:16), and had exhorted them to give rest to the nation, which had suffered so much under Ahaz through the calamities of war (2 Chronicles 28), and not to drag it into another way by goading it on to rise against Assyria, or impose a new burden in addition to the tribute to Assyria by purchasing the help of Egypt. But they would not hearken (אבוּא equals אבוּ, Isaiah 30:15-16; Ges. 23, 3, Anm. 3). Their policy was a very different one from being still, or believing and waiting. And therefore the word of Jehovah, which they regarded as en endless series of trivial commands, would be turned in their case into an endless series of painful sufferings. To those who thought themselves so free, and lived so free, it would become a stone on which they would go to pieces, a net in which they would be snared, a trap in which they would be caught (compare Isaiah 8:14-15).
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