Isaiah 51:22
Thus said your Lord the LORD, and your God that pleads the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; you shall no more drink it again:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Thy Lord the Lord . . .—Note the emphatic combination of Adonai (or rather, in this solitary instance, of the plural Adonim used like Elohim) with Jehovah. Man’s necessity is once more God’s opportunity. He will plead for His people when none else will plead. The cup of trembling shall be taken from the hand of the forlorn castaway, and given to her enemies. (Comp. Jeremiah 25:15.)

51:17-23 God calls upon his people to mind the things that belong to their everlasting peace. Jerusalem had provoked God, and was made to taste the bitter fruits. Those who should have been her comforters, were their own tormentors. They have no patience by which to keep possesion of their own souls, nor any confidence in God's promise, by which to keep possession of its comfort. Thou art drunken, not as formerly, with the intoxicating cup of Babylon's idolatries, but with the cup of affliction. Know, then, the cause of God's people may for a time seem as lost, but God will protect it, by convincing the conscience, or confounding the projects, of those that strive against it. The oppressors required souls to be subjected to them, that every man should believe and worship as they would have them. But all they could gain by violence was, that people were brought to outward hypocritical conformity, for consciences cannot be forced.I have taken out of thy hand the cup of trembling - (See the notes at Isaiah 51:17). This verse contains a promise that they would be delivered from the effect of the wrath of God, under which they had been suffering so long.

Thou shalt no more drink it again - Thou shalt no more be subject to similar trials and calamities (see Isaiah 54:7-9). Probably the idea here is, not that Jerusalem would never be again destroyed, which would not be true, for it was afterward subjected to severer trials under the Romans; but that the people who should then return - the pious exiles - should be preserved forever after from similar sufferings. The object of the prophet is to console them, and this he does by the assurance that they should be subjected to such trials no more.

22. pleadeth … cause—(Ps 35:1; Jer 50:34; Mic 7:9).

no more drink it—(Isa 54:7-9). This cannot apply to Israel after the return from Babylon, but only to them after their final restoration.

Thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people; who though he hath fought against thee, is now reconciled to thee, and will maintain thy cause against all thine adversaries. Thus saith the Lord, the Lord and thy God,.... He who is Lord of all, the eternal Jehovah, who can do all things, and who is the covenant God of his people, and will do all things he has purposed and promised, and which are for their good and his glory; of which they may be assured from the consideration of these names and titles of his, for which reason they seem to be used and mentioned:

that pleadeth the cause of his people, which is a righteous one, as he will make it appear to be, by delivering them out of their troubles, and by avenging their bodies.

Behold, I have taken out of thy hand the cup of trembling; which he himself had put there, Isaiah 51:17, and which none but himself could take out; not she herself, nor any of her sons, nor indeed could they give her any relief; but when the Lord's time is come to favour his people, he himself will remove it:

even the dregs of the cup of my fury; it shall all be clean taken away, nothing of it shall remain:

thou shalt no more drink it again; or "any longer" (c); after the slaying of the witnesses, and their rising again, there will be no more persecution of the church of God; see Isaiah 2:9.

(c) "non ultra", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.

Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. thy Lord the Lord] thy Lord Jehovah. It is in cases like this that we are made to feel the inconvenience arising from the Jewish reluctance to pronounce the sacred Name Yahveh.

I have taken] Better I take (a perf. of instant action, as 1 Samuel 2:16).

the cup of trembling … fury] the cup of intoxication, the chalice of mine indignation (see on Isaiah 51:17).Verse 22. - The Lord... that pleadeth the cause of his people (comp. Jeremiah 50:34, which contains an allusion to this passage). As his people have a relentless adversary, who accuses them continually, and pleads against them (Revelation 12:10), so it is needful that they should have an untiring advocate. God himself is this Advocate. The dregs of the cup (see the comment on ver. 17, ad fin.). The promise, as the pledge of which Jehovah has staked His absolute power, to which everything must yield, now rises up to an eschatological height, from the historical point at which it began. "And I put my words into thy mouth, and in the shadow of my hand have I covered thee, to plant heavens, and to found an earth, and to say to Zion, Thou art my people." It is a lofty calling, a glorious future, for the preparation and introduction of which Israel, although fallen as low as Isaiah 51:7 describes, has been equipped and kept in the shadow of unapproachable omnipotence. Jehovah has put His words into the mouth of this Israel - His words, the force and certainty of which are measured by His all-determining absoluteness. And what is the exalted calling which it is to subserve through the medium of these words, and for which it is preserved, without previously, or indeed at any time, passing away? We must not render it, "that thou mayest plant," etc., with which the conclusion does not harmonize, viz., "that thou mayest say," etc.; for it is not Israel who says this to Israel, but Jehovah says it to Israel. The planter, founder, speaker, is therefore Jehovah. It is God's own work, to which Israel is merely instrumentally subservient, by means of the words of God place din its mouth, viz., the new creation of the world, and the restoration of Israel to favour; both of them, the former as well as the latter, regalia of God. The reference is to the last times. The Targum explains it thus: "to restore the people of whom it is said, They will be as numerous as the stars of heaven; and to perfect the church, of which it is said, They will be as numerous as the dust of the earth." Knobel understands by this a completion of the theocracy, and a new arrangement of the condition of the world; Ewald, a new spiritual creation, of which the liberation of Israel is the first corner-stone. But the prophecy speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, in something more than a figurative sense, as a new creation of God (Isaiah 65:17). Jehovah intends to create a new world of righteousness and salvation, and practically to acknowledge Zion as His people. The preparation for this great and all-renewing work of the future is aided by the true Israel, which is now enslaved by the heathen, and disowned and persecuted by its own countrymen. A future of salvation, embracing Israel and the heaven and the earth, is implied in the words placed by Jehovah in the mouth of His church, which was faithful to its calling. These words in their mouth are the seed-corns of a new world in the midst of the old. The fact that the very same thing is said here of the true spiritual Israel, as in Isaiah 49:2 of the one servant of Jehovah, may be explained in the same manner as when the apostles apply to themselves, in Acts 13:47, a word of God relating to the one Servant of Jehovah, by saying, "So hath the Lord commanded us." The One is, in fact, one with this Israel; He is this Israel in its highest potency; He towers above it, but only as the head rises above the members of the body, with which it forms a living whole. There is no necessity, therefore, to assume, as Hengstenberg and Philippi do, that Isaiah 51:13 contains an address from the One who then stood before the mind of the prophet. "There is no proof," as Vitringa affirms, "of any change in the object in this passage, nor any solid reason for assuming it." The circumference of the idea is always the same. Here, however, it merely takes the direction towards the centre, and penetrates its smaller inner circle, but does not go back to the centre itself.
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