Isaiah 30:25
And there shall be on every high mountain, and on every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) There shall be upon every high mountain . . .—The picture of a golden age is continued. The mountains and hills, often so dry and barren, should flow down with rivers of waters, and irrigate the valleys. And this should coincide with the day of a “great slaughter,” perhaps of the enemies of Israel, perhaps also of the people themselves (judgment coming before the blessing), and of the fall of the “towers” in which they had put their trust. (Comp. Isaiah 40:4.) As before, man’s extremity was to be God’s opportunity. Possibly, however, the “towers” are those of the besiegers of the city.

Isaiah 30:25. On every high mountain, and every high hill — Which are commonly dry and barren; shall be rivers and streams of water — Fertilizing and refreshing blessings, showered down by God upon his church and people. This verse certainly cannot be understood literally, and the mystical meaning, according to Vitringa and some others, is, “that in all the more celebrated places, whether of kingdoms or cities, there should be synagogues, public schools, or oratories, in which the word of God, and the doctrine of pure religion, should be copiously taught, and the waters of sound instruction poured out,” so that the lovers of true wisdom, piety, and virtue, might there quench their thirst. The time in which these benefits should be conferred upon the church is denoted by this character, namely, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers shall fall — That is, when God should take severe vengeance upon the enemies of his people. Perhaps the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple, with the subversion of the Jewish state, and the slaughter of immense multitudes of Jews, events connected with the calling of the Gentiles, and the extensive propagation of the gospel, might be first in the prophet’s view. The words may further refer to the overthrow of the pagan, persecuting Roman empire, and the great slaughter that preceded or accompanied it. But, undoubtedly, the words ultimately refer to the destruction of all the antichristian powers, the subversion of the fortresses and towers of Satan’s kingdom, making way for the universal diffusion of divine truth and spread of true religion. “This shall be remarkably fulfilled,” says Lowth, “at the time when there shall be a terrible destruction of God’s enemies, (Revelation 14:20; Revelation 19:21,) and when the great ones of the earth shall fall, denoted here by high towers, or the fortifications of mystical Babylon.”30:19-26 God's people will soon arrive at the Zion above, and then they will weep no more for ever. Even now they would have more comfort, as well as holiness, if they were more constant in prayer. A famine of bread is not so great a judgment as a famine of the word of God. There are right-hand and left-hand errors; the tempter is busy courting us into by-paths. It is happy if, by the counsels of a faithful minister or friend, or the checks of conscience, and the strivings of God the Spirit, we are set right when doubting, and prevented from going wrong. They shall be cured of their idolatry. To all true penitents sin becomes very hateful. This is shown daily in the conversion of souls, by the power of Divine grace, to the fear and love of God. Abundant means of grace, with the influences of the Holy Spirit, would be extended to places destitute of them. The effect of this should be comfort and joy to the people of God. Light, that is, knowledge, shall increase. This is the light which the gospel brought into the world, and which proclaims healing to the broken-hearted.In the day of the great slaughter - When the enemies of the people of God shall have been destroyed - probably in a time subsequent to the slaughter of the army of the Assyrians.

When the towers fall - The towers of the enemy; perhaps referring here to the towers of Babylon. After they should fall, the Jews would be favored with the time of prosperity to which the prophet here refers.

25. Even the otherwise barren hills shall then be well-watered (Isa 44:3).

the day, &c.—when the disobedient among the Jews shall have been slain, as foretold in Isa 30:16: "towers," that is, mighty men (Isa 2:15). Or else, the towers of the Assyrian Sennacherib, or of Babylon, types of all enemies of God's people.

Upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill; which are commonly dry and barren, and destitute of rivers.

In the day of the great slaughter; when God shall destroy the enemies of his people, he will shower down his blessings upon his church.

The towers; either properly, the towers of Babylon, for which she was famous; or metaphorically, the high and mighty potentates, which fought against God’s people, as Isaiah 2:15. And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill,.... Which were round about Jerusalem, and in other parts of Judea:

rivers and streams of water; such abundance of rain, that it should flow in streams like rivers, from the higher to the lower lands, and water them. This may in a spiritual sense be understood of the great plenty of the ministry of the Gospel, in all the kingdoms of the world, great and small, signified by mountains and hills; and which may also intimate the open and public ministrations of it in them, Zechariah 14:8 or of the blessings of grace, and the graces of the Spirit, communicated everywhere; see Isaiah 41:18, John 7:38. This is applied to the times of the Messiah by the Jews (g) themselves, and respects the latter part of those times:

in the day of the great slaughter; not of Sennacherib's army by the angel, as many Jewish and Christian interpreters understand it; nor of the Babylonians, at the taking of Babylon by Cyrus; but of the antichristian kings, and their armies, Revelation 19:17. So the Targum paraphrases it,

"for the ruin of kings and their armies, in the day of the great slaughter;''

and a great slaughter it will be indeed:

when the towers fall; not the batteries and fortifications raised in the Assyrian camp, at the siege of Jerusalem, which fell when they were destroyed by the angel; or the great men and princes in that army, which then fell; though towers sometimes signify great persons, such as princes; see Isaiah 2:15 and so the Targum interprets it here; and may be true of the antichristian princes; for of the fall of the great city of Rome, and of other cities of the nations, with the towers thereof, is this to be understood, even of mystical, and not of literal Babylon; see Revelation 11:13.

(g) Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 212. 3.

And there shall be upon every high {x} mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

(x) By these various manners of speech he shows that the happiness of the Church will be so great, that no one is able sufficiently to express it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. Even the arid slopes of the hills of Palestine shall then flow with water.

slaughter, when the towers fall] cf. ch. Isaiah 2:12 ff. It is a vague poetic allusion to the day of the Lord, when all His enemies are destroyed.Verse 25. - Rivers and streams of water; rather, rivulets, courses of water. Channels, along which water was conveyed for the purpose of irrigation, are intended (comp. Ezekiel 47:1-12; Joel 3:18). No doubt there is a secondary allegorical meaning running through the whole description of Judah's prosperity (vers. 23-26). In this allegorical intention the waters stand for the streams of God's grace. In the day of the great slaughter. Equivalent to "the day of vengeance" (Isaiah 34:8) the day when God shall tread down his enemies. The prophet passes from the immediate effect of Judah's repentance to a broader view of what shall happen when God's kingdom is established upon the earth. When the towers fall; i.e. when there shall be a general "pulling down of strong holds," and a "casting down of every high thing that exalts itself against God" (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5). None but such are heirs of the grace that follows the judgment - a people, newly pardoned in response to its cry for help, conducted by faithful teachers in the right way, and renouncing idolatry with disgust. "For a people continues dwelling in Zion, in Jerusalem; thou shalt not weep for ever: He will prove Himself gracious to thee at the sound of thy cry for help; as soon as He hears, He answers thee. And the Lord giveth you bread in penury, and water for your need; and thy teachers will not hide themselves any more, and thine eyes come to see thy teachers. And thine ears will hear words behind thee, saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it!' whether ye turn to the right hand or to the left. And ye defile the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the clothing of thy molten images of gold; thou wilt scatter them like filthy thing: 'Get out!' thou sayest to it." We do not render Isaiah 30:19, "For O people that dwelleth in Zion, in Jerusalem!" For although the personal pronoun may be omitted after Vav in an apostrophizing connection (Proverbs 8:5; Joel 2:23), we should certainly expect to find אתּה here. The accent very properly marks these words as forming an independent clause. The apparent tautology in the expression, "in Zion, in Jerusalem," is emphatic and explanatory. The fate of Zion-Jerusalem will not be the same as that of the imperial city (Isaiah 13:20; Isaiah 25:2); for it is the city of Jehovah, which, according to His promise, cannot become an eternally deserted ruin. After this promising declaration, the prophet turns and addresses the people of the future in the people of his own time; bâkhō strengthens the verbal notion with the mark of duration; chânōn with the mark of certainty and fulness. יחנך, with an advanced ŏ, as in Genesis 43:29, for יחן. כּ is the shortest expression used to denote simultaneous occurrence; answering and hearing would coincide (shom‛âh, nomen actionis, as in Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 55:2; Ges. 45, 1b; ‛ânâkh, the pausal form here, as in Jeremiah 23:37). From this lowest stage of response to the penitential cry for help, the promise rises higher and higher. The next stage is that in which Jerusalem is brought into all the distress consequent upon a siege, as threatened by the prophet in Isaiah 29:3-4; the besieged would not be allowed by God to die of starvation, but He would send them the necessary support. The same expression, but very little altered, viz., "to give to eat lechem lachatz ūmayim lachatz," signifies to put any one upon the low rations of a siege or of imprisonment, in 1 Kings 22:27 and 2 Chronicles 18:26; but here it is a promise, with the threat kept in the background. צר and לחץ are connected with the absolute nouns לחם and מים, not as adverbial, but as appositional definitions (like תּרעלה יין, "wine which is giddiness," in Psalm 60:5; and בּרכּים מים, "water which is knees," i.e., which has the measure of the knees, where birkayim is also in apposition, and not the accusative of measurement): literally, bread which is necessity, and water which is affliction; that is to say, nourishment of which there is extreme need, the very opposite of bread and water in abundance. Umbreit and Drechsler understand this spiritually. But the promise rises as it goes on. There is already an advance, in the fact that the faithful and well-meaning teachers (mōrı̄m) no longer keep themselves hidden because of the hard-heartedness and hatred of the people, as they have done ever since the time of Ahaz (נכנף, a denom.: to withdraw into כּנף, πτέρυξ, the utmost end, the most secret corner; though kânaph in itself signifies to cover or conceal). Israel, when penitent, would once more be able to rejoice in the sight of those whom it longed to have back again. מוריך is a plural, according to the context (on the singular of the previous predicate, see Ges. 147). As the shepherds of the flock, they would follow the people with friendly words of admonition, whilst the people would have their ears open to receive their instruction. תּאמינוּ is here equivalent to תּימינוּ, תּימינוּ. The abominations of idolatry (which continued even in the first years of Hezekiah's reign: Isaiah 31:7; Micah 1:5; Micah 5:11-13; Micah 6:16) would now be regarded as abominations, and put away. Even gold and silver, with which the images that were either carved or cast in inferior metal were overlaid, would be made unclean (see 2 Kings 28:8ff.); that is to say, no use would be made of them. Dâvâh is a shorter expression for kelı̄ dâvâh, the cloth worn by a woman at the monthly period. On zârâh, to dispense - to which dâvâh would be inappropriate if understood of the woman herself, as it is by Luzzatto - compare 2 Kings 23:6. With זהבך, the plural used in the general address passes over into the individualizing singular; לו is to be taken as a neuter pointing back to the plunder of idols.
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