Isaiah 57:10
You are wearied in the greatness of your way; yet said you not, There is no hope: you have found the life of your hand; therefore you were not grieved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way . . .—Better, with the length of thy journey—i.e., with the long embassies to Assyria, and to Babylon, as for the time the residence of its kings. For “there is no hope,” read, there is no result, or profit. Judah would not acknowledge that the negotiations were fruitless.

Thou hast found the life of thine hand . . .—The words arc a literal rendering, and convey the meaning, Thou didst renew the strength of thine hand—i.e., Judah found a fancied increase of power in the alliance she was seeking, and therefore did not repent of her ignominious diplomacy.

Isaiah 57:10. Thou art wearied with the greatness of thy way — Thou hast not eased, or relieved, but only tired thyself with all thy tedious journeys and laborious endeavours. Yet sayest thou not, There is no hope — And yet thou didst not perceive that thy labour was lost, and that thy case was not mended, but made more desperate by these practices. Thou hast found the life of thy hand — Thou hast sometimes found success in these ways; or, thou falsely supposest that thy hand is strengthened thereby. Therefore thou wast not grieved — Therefore thou didst not repent of thy sin and folly herein, but didst persist and applaud thyself in such courses.57:3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with judgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction. Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame our indifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sin is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. This explains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But those who set up anything instead of God, for their hope and confidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasures of sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the word of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God. Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way - That is, in the length of thy journeys in order to procure foreign aid. Thou hast traveled to distant nations for this purpose, and in doing it, hast become weary without securing the object in view.

Yet saidst thou not, There is no hope - 'Thou didst not say it is to be despaired of (נואשׁ nô'âsh), or it is vain. Though repulsed in one place, you applied to another; though weary, you did not give it up. Instead of returning to God and seeking his aid, you still sought human alliances, and supposed you would find assistance from the help of people.' This is a striking illustration of the conduct of people in seeking happiness away from God. They wander from object to object; they become weary in the pursuit, yet they do not abandon it; they still cling to hope though often repulsed - and though the world gives them no permanent comfort - though wealth, ambition, gaiety, and vice all fail in imparting the happiness which they sought, yet they do not give it up in despair. They still feel that it is to be found in some other way than by the disagreeable necessity of returning to God, and they wander from object to object, and from land to land, and become exhausted in the pursuit, and still are not ready to say, 'there is no hope, we give it up in despair, and we will now seek happiness in God.'

Thou hast found the life of thine hand - Margin, 'Living.' Lowth, 'Thou hast found the support of thy life by thy labor.' Noyes, 'Thou yet findest life in thy hand. Much diversity of opinion has prevailed in regard to the interpretation of this passage. Vitringa interprets the whole passage of their devotion to idols, and supposes that this means that they had borne all the expense and difficulty and toil attending it because it gratified their hearts, and because they found a pleasure in it which sustained them. Calvin supposes that it is to be understood ironically. 'Why didst thou not repent and turn to me? Why didst thou not see and acknowledge thy madness? It was because thou didst find thy life in thy hand. All things prospered and succeeded according to thy desire, and conferred happiness.' The Septuagint renders it, 'Because in full strength (ἐνισχύουσα enischuousa) thou hast done this; therefore thou shouldst not supplicate me.' Jerome explains it to mean, 'because they have done the things referred to in the previous verses, therefore they had not supplicated the Lord, trusting more in their own virtues than in God.' The Syriac renders it, 'The guilt of thy hand has contracted rust for thee, therefore thou hast not offered supplication.' The Chaldee renders it, 'Thou hast amassed wealth, therefore thou didst not repent.' Kimchi explains it to mean, 'Thou hast found something which is as pleasant to thee as the food is which is the life of man.' The phrase 'life of thy hand' occurs nowhere else.

The hand is the instrument by which we execute our purposes; and by the life of the hand here, there seems to be meant that which will give full and continued employment. They had found in these things that which effectually prevented them from repenting and returning to God. 'They had relied on their own plans rather than on God; they had sought the aid of foreign powers; they had obtained that which kept them from absolute despair, and from feeling their need of the assistance of God. Or, if it refers to their idol-worship, as Vitringa supposes, then it means that, not withstanding all the trouble, toil, and expense which they had experienced, they had found so much to gratify them that they continued to serve them, and were unwilling to return to God.

Therefore thou wast not grieved - Lowth, 'Thou hast not utterly fainted.' The word used here (חלה châlâh) means "to be polished"; then to be worn down in strength; to be weak or exhausted Judges 16:7; then to be sick, diseased, made weak. Here it means, that either by the aid Which they had obtained by foreign alliances, or by the gratification experienced in the service of idols, they had found so much to uphold them that they had not been in utter despair. And the passage may teach the general truth, that not withstanding all the trials and disappointments of life, still sinners find so much comfort in the ways of sin, that they are not utterly overwhelmed in despair. They still find the 'life of their hand in them.' If a plan fails, they repeat it, or they try another. In the pursuits of ambition, of wealth, and of fashion, notwithstanding all the expense, and irksomeness, and disappointment, they find a kind of pleasure which sustains them, and enough success to keep them from returning to God. It is this imperfect pleasure and success which the world gives amidst all its disappointments, and this hope of less diminished joys and more ample success. in schemes of gain, and pleasure, and ambition, that sustains the votaries of this world in their career, and keeps them from seeking the pure and unmingled pleasures of religion. When the world becomes all gloom, and disappointment, and care, then there is felt the necessity of a better portion, and the mind is turned to God. Or when, as is more common, the mind becomes convinced that all the joys which the world can give - allowing the utmost limit to what is said by its friends of its powers - are poor and trifling compared with the joys which flow from the eternal friendship of God, then the blessings of salvation are sought with a full heart; and then man comes and consecrates the fullness of his energies and his immortal vigor to the service of the God that made him.

10. greatness of … way—the length of thy journey in seeking strange gods, or else foreign aid (Jer 2:23, 24). Notwithstanding thy deriving no good from these long journeys (so, "send … far off," Isa 57:9), thou dost not still give up hope (Jer 2:25; 18:12).

hast found … life of … hand—for "thou still findest life (that is, vigor) enough in thy hand" to make new idols [Maurer], or to seek new alliance ("hand" being then taken for strength in general).

grieved—rather, "therefore thou art not weak" [Maurer]; inasmuch as having "life in thy hand," thou art still strong in hope.

Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; thou hast not eased or relieved, but only tired thyself with all thy tedious journeys and laborious endeavours.

Yet saidst thou not, There is no hope; and yet thou wast so stupid under all thy discouragements and disappointments, that thou didst not perceive that thy labour was lost, and that thy case was not mended, but made worse and desperate by these practices.

Thou hast found the life of thine hand; thou hast found (i.e. thou falsely imaginest that thou hast found, or shalt assuredly find by these courses) the life (i.e. the strength and rigour) of thine hand, that thine hand is strengthened by these practices; or, life by thine hand, i.e. by these endeavours and applications of thyself to others for help. Or, thou hast sometimes found success in these ways.

Therefore thou wast not grieved; therefore thou didst not repent of thy sin and folly herein, but didst persist and applaud thyself in such courses. Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way,.... Or, "in the multiplicity of thy ways" (u): which were so many, as were enough to make her weary; the steps which were taken to obtain so much power over kings and kingdoms, which was gradually got with great pains and artifice, and to amass such vast treasures, and to enlarge her interest, and spread her religion in the world; the multitude of stratagems devised, and vast number of men employed, and embassies made to carry her point everywhere. Jarchi's note is,

"to fulfil thy desires, and to enlarge thy substance:''

yet saidst thou not, there is no hope; as men in a good cause are apt to do, upon every difficulty that arises; but here, in this case, though the cause was very bad, yet when schemes did not take, or not so soon as wished for and expected, new difficulties arose, and opposition made; yet no cost nor pains were spared to gain the point in view, and establish a kingdom and hierarchy; which at last succeeded: this expresses the resolution, constancy, and pertinency of the bishops of Rome in their ambitious views and claims of power, who would not give out, nor despair of arriving at what they aimed at; and which, through great fatigue and labour, they attained unto:

thou hast found the life of thine hand; that which was sought for and laboured after; sovereignty over all bishops and churches; power over kings and kingdoms; and an universal empire over consciences, as well as over churches and nations; and also immense treasure and riches to support the pope, cardinals, priests, &c.; and perhaps giving life to the image of the beast that it should speak, and cause those that would not worship it to be killed, may be included, Revelation 13:15. The Targum is,

"thou hast multiplied (or as other copies) thou hast found great riches.''

Jarchi's note is,

"the necessity of thine hands, thou hast found prosperity in thy works:''

therefore thou wast not grieved; at the toil and labour used, pains taken, and weariness contracted; the issue was an over recompence for all the trouble and difficulty that attended it: or, "therefore thou wast not sick" (w); of the undertaking; did not despond in mind, or languish without hope of succeeding, finding ground was gained; and at last things went according to wishes; and then it caused no grief to reflect upon the fatigue and trouble that had been endured; and also grieved not at the idolatry introduced, nor repented of it; see Revelation 9:20, So the Targum interprets it of impenitence.

(u) "in multitudine viae tuae", Pagninus, Montanus. (w) "non aegrotasti", Pagninus, Montanus, "non aegrotas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, {l} There is no hope: thou {m} hast found the life of thy hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.

(l) Although you saw all your labours to be in vain, yet would you never acknowledge your fault and leave off.

(m) He derides their unprofitable diligence, who thought to have made all sure, and yet were deceived.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10, 11. Although wearied by these idolatries they have persisted in them with an infatuation which has blinded them to their desperate situation, and rendered them indifferent to the fear of Jehovah.

in the greatness of thy way] i.e. “through thy much wandering,” thy multifarious religious observances.

There is no hope] Lit. “desperatum est”; cf. Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 18:12 (with a somewhat different shade of meaning).

thou didst find the life of thine hand] A very obscure and variously explained phrase. R.V. a quickening (i.e. renewal) of thy strength is perhaps the most feasible interpretation, but the peculiar expression is hardly accounted for, unless it be a current proverb.

thou wast not grieved] lit. sick, weak and faint. Comp. Jeremiah 5:3, “Thou hast smitten them and they did not become sick,” i.e. did not feel weak.Verse 10. - Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way. Judah had travelled far from God, seeking aid from all quarters, and might well be "wearied" with her quest; but she would not confess her weariness she would not say. There is no hope; she stirred up her remaining strength, and persisted in her course, not suffering herself to "grieve." The reproachful language of the prophet is now directed against the mass of the nation, who have occasioned the "evil" from which the righteous is swept away, i.e., the generation that is hostile to the servants of Jehovah, and by whom those sins of idolatry are still so shamelessly carried on, which first led to the captivity. "And ye, draw nearer hither, children of the sorceress, seed of the adulterer, and of her that committed whoredom! Over whom do ye make yourselves merry? Over whom do ye open the mouth wide, and put the tongue out long? Are ye not the brook of apostasy, seed of lying?" They are to draw nearer hither (hēnnâh as in Genesis 15:16), to the place where God is speaking through His prophet, to have themselves painted, and to hear their sentence. Just as elsewhere the moral character of a man is frequently indicated by the mention of his father (2 Kings 6:32), or his mother (1 Samuel 20:30), or both parents (Job 30:8), so here the generation of the captivity, so far as it continued to practise the idolatry by which its ancestors had brought upon themselves the Chaldean catastrophe, is called first עננה בּני (or more correctly עננה), sons of the sorceress (possibly the maker of clouds or storm, Isaiah 2:6, Jer. auguratricis), one who made heathen and superstitious customs her means of livelihood, viz., the community as it existed before the captivity, which really deserved no better name, on account of the crying contradiction between its calling and its conduct; and secondly, with regard to both the male and female members of the community, ותּזנה מנאף זרע, semen adulteri et fornicariae (Jer.), though Stier, Hahn, and others adopt the rendering semen adulterum et quod (qui) scortaris. A better rendering than this would be, "Seed of an adulterer, and one who committest adultery thyself," viz., (what would be indicated with this explanation by the fut. consec.) in consequence of this descent from an adulterer. But as זרע (seed, posterity), wherever it is more minutely defined, is connected with a genitive, and not with an adjective, the presumption is that ותזנה מנאף denotes the father and mother. ותּזנה is an attributive clause regarded as a genitive (Ges. 123, 3, Anm. 1), and more closely connected with מנאף htiw than if it was written ותזנה equals וזונה, Isaiah 1:21): Seed of an adulterer, and consequently (Ewald, 351, b), or similarly, of one who gave herself up to whoredom. Idolatry, prostitution, and magic are most closely allied. The prophet now asks, "Over whom do ye find your pleasure? For whom are your common contemptuous actions intended?" התענּג is only used here, and denotes the feeling which finds pleasure in the sufferings of another. The objects of this malicious contemptuous pleasure (Psalm 22:8., Psalm 35:21) are the servants of Jehovah; and the question, as in Isaiah 37:23, is one of amazement at their impudence, since the men over whom they make merry are really deserving of esteem, whereas they themselves are the refuse of Israel: Are ye not a brook of apostasy, seed of lying? As apostasy and lying, when regarded as parents, can only produce something resembling themselves; the character of those from whom they are descended is here imputed to the men themselves, even more clearly than before. The genitives of origin are also genitives of attribute. Instead of ילדי (e.g., Isaiah 2:6) we have here ילדי before makkeph, with the shortening of a into i.
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