Isaiah 44:19
And none considers in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yes, also I have baked bread on the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
44:9-20 Image-making is described, to expose the folly of idolaters. Though a man had used part of a log for fuel, he fell down before an image made of the remainder, praying it to deliver him. Man greatly dishonours God, when he represents him after the image of man. Satan blinds the eyes of unbelievers, causing absurd reasonings in matters of religion. Whether men seek happiness in worldly things, or run into unbelief, superstition, or any false system, they feed on ashes. A heart deceived by pride, love of sin, and departure from God, turns men aside from his holy truth and worship. While the affections are depraved, a man holds fast the lie as his best treasure. Are our hearts set upon the wealth of the world and its pleasures? They will certainly prove a lie. If we trust to outward professions and doings, as if those would save us, we deceive ourselves. Self-suspicion is the first step towards self-deliverance. He that would deliver his soul, must question his conscience, Is there not a lie in my right hand?And none considereth in his heart - Margin, 'Setteth to.' He does not place the subject near his heart or mind; he does not think of it. A similar phrase occurs in Isaiah 46:8 : 'Bring it again to mind.' It is a phrase drawn from the act of placing an object near us, in order to examine it closely; and we express the same idea by the phrase 'looking at a thing,' or 'looking at it closely.' The sense is, they had not attentively and carefully thought on the folly of what they were doing - a sentiment which is as true of all sinners as it was of stupid idolaters.

An abomination - A name that is often given to an idol 2 Kings 11:5, 2 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13. The meaning is, that an idol was abominable and detestable in the sight of a holy God. It was that which he could not endure.

Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? - Margin, 'That which comes of.' The word בוּל bûl means properly "produce, increase," and here evidently a stock or trunk of wood. So it is in the Chaldee.

19. considereth—literally, "layeth it to heart," (Isa 42:25; Jer 12:11).

abomination—the scriptural term for an idol, not merely abominable, but the essence of what is so, in the eyes of a jealous God (1Ki 11:5, 7).

None considereth in his heart; whereby he implies that the true cause of this, as well as of other absurd and brutish practices of sinners, is the neglect of serious and impartial consideration of things. And none considereth in his heart,.... Or, "and he does not return it to his heart" (k); he does not come to himself again, or return to his right mind, but lives and dies under the infatuation; never once revolving it in his mind, pondering within himself what he has done, or is doing, whether right or wrong:

neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say; within himself, and reason the matter in his own mind, and thus express himself:

I have burnt part of it in the fire; to warm myself with:

yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; both heated the oven, and baked bread with it; and also upon the live coals have laid kneaded dough, and baked a cake on them:

and I have roasted flesh, and eaten it; made a fire with another part of it, and roasted meat at it, and ate it with great pleasure and satisfaction:

and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? an idol, which is an abominable thing to God, and to all men of sense and goodness:

shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? or "the bud of a tree?" (l) or that which is made out of a tree of my own planting, cutting down, and hewing, part of which has been used to the above purposes; and the remaining lifeless log, shall I worship it as a god? and yet, though such reasoning might be justly expected from a man that is a reasonable creature, sottish are idolaters, that they seem to be quite deprived of their rational powers, or at least these are disused by them.

(k) "et non reducet ad cor suum", Pagninus, Montanus; "reducit", Piscator. (l) "ante id quod provenit ex abore", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "germen ligni", Forerius.

And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. considereth in his heart] R.V. calleth to mind; lit. “bringeth it back to his heart,” i.e. “recalls in thought,” a somewhat rare expression (see ch. Isaiah 46:8; Deuteronomy 4:39; Deuteronomy 30:1; 1 Kings 8:47).

part of it] See on Isaiah 44:16. The word rendered stock occurs again only in Job 40:20, where it seems to mean “produce.”Verse 19. - None considereth in his heart; literally, recalls it to his heart; i.e. returns to a sound way of thinking upon the subject. It is implied that the idolaters had once had it in their power to think and reason justly upon the absurdity of such conduct as that which was now habitual to them. But they had lost the power. They had suffered themselves little by little to be deluded. The stock of a tree. The marginal rendering, "that which comes of a tree," is preferable. The prophet now conducts us into the workshops. "The iron-smith has a chisel, and works with red-hot coals, and shapes it with hammers, and works it with his powerful arm. He gets hungry thereby, and his strength fails; if he drink no water, he becomes exhausted. The carpenter draws the line, marks it with the pencil, carries it out with planes, and makes a drawing of it with the compass, and carries it out like the figure of a man, like the beauty of a man, which may dwell in the house." The two words chârash barzel are connected together in the sense of faber ferrarius, as we may see from the expression chârash ‛ētsı̄m (the carpenter, faber lignarius), which follows in Isaiah 44:13. Chârash is the construct of chârâsh ( equals charrâsh), as in Exodus 28:11. The second kametz of this form of noun does indeed admit of contraction, but only to the extent of a full short vowel; consequently the construct of the plural is not חרשׁי, but חרשׁי (Isaiah 45:16, etc.). Hence Isaiah 44:12 describes how the smith constructs an idol of iron, Isaiah 44:13 how the carpenter makes one of wood. But the first clause, מעצד בּרזל חרשׁ, is enigmatical. In any case, מעצד is a smith's tool of some kind (from עצד, related to חצד). And consequently Gesenius, Umbreit, and others, adopt the rendering, "the smith an axe, that does he work ... ;" but the further account of the origin of an idol says nothing at all about this axe, which the smith supplies to the carpenter, that he may hew out an idol with it. Hitzig renders it, "The smith, a hatchet does he work, and forms it (viz., into an idol);" but what a roundabout way! first to make a hatchet and then make it into an idol, which would look very slim when made. Knobel translates it, "As for the cutting-smith, he works it;" but this guild of cutting-smiths certainly belongs to Utopia. The best way to render the sentence intelligible, would be to supply לו: "The smith has (uses) the ma‛ătsâd." But in all probability a word has dropped out; and the Septuagint rendering, ὅτι ὤξυνεν τέκτων σίδηρον σκεπάρνω εἰργάσατο κ.τ.λ, shows that the original reading of the text was מעצד ברזל חרס חדד, and that חדד got lost on account of its proximity to יחץ. The meaning therefore is, "The smith has sharpened, or sharpens (chiddēd, syn. shinnēn) the ma‛ătsâd," possibly the chisel, to cut the iron upon the anvil; and works with red-hot coals, making the iron red-hot by blowing the fire. The piece of iron which he cuts off is the future idol, and this he shapes with hammers (יצרהוּ the future of יצר). And what of the carpenter? He stretches the line upon the block of wood, to measure the length and breadth of the idol; he marks it upon the wood with red-stone (sered, rubrica, used by carpenters), and works it with planes (maqtsu‛ōth, a feminine form of מקצוע, from קצע, to cut off, pare off, plane; compare the Arabic mikta‛), and with the compasses (mechūgâh, the tool used, lâchūg, i.e. for making a circle) he draws the outline of it, that is to say, in order that the different parts of the body may be in right proportion; and he constructs it in such a manner that it acquires the shape of a man, the beautiful appearance of a man, to be set up like a human inmate in either a temple or private house. The piel תּאר (תּאר), from which comes yetāărēhū, is varied here (according to Isaiah's custom; cf., Isaiah 29:7; Isaiah 26:5) with the poelתּאר, which is to be understood as denoting the more exact configuration. The preterites indicate the work for which both smith and carpenter have made their preparations; the futures, the work in which they are engaged.
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