Isaiah 58:11
And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyExpositor'sExp DctGSBGillGrayGuzikHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBWESTSK
And the Lord shall guide thee continually - Yahweh will go before you and will lead you always.

And satisfy thy soul in drought - (See the notes at Isaiah 41:17-18). The word rendered 'drought' (Margin, 'droughts;' Hebrew, צחצחות tsachetsâchôth) means "dry places" - places exposed to the intense heat of a burning sun and parched up for the want of moisture. The idea is, that God would provide for them as if in such places copious rains were to fall, or refreshing fountains to burst forth.

And make fat thy bones - Lowth, 'Shall renew thy strength.' Noyes, 'Strengthen thy bones.' Jerome renders it, 'Shall liberate thy bones.' The Septuagint 'Thy bones shall be made fat.' The idea is undoubtedly that of vigorous prosperity, and of strength. Job JObadiah 21:24 expresses a similar idea of a strong man dying:

'His watering places for flocks abound with milk,

And his bones are moist with marrow.'

For the propriety of this translation, which differs from the common version, see my notes on Job, in loc. The word used here (חלץ châlats), however, does not often, if ever, denote to make fat. It rather means to be manful, active, brave, ready for war; and the idea here is, probably, derived from the preparation which is made for the active services of war, rather than that of being made fat.

And thou shalt be like a watered garden - Syriac, 'Like paradise.' This is a most beautiful image to denote continued prosperity and blessedness - an image that would be particularly striking in the East. The ideas of happiness in the Oriental world consisted much in pleasant gardens, running streams, and ever-flowing fountains, and nothing can more beautifully express the blessedness of the continued favor of the Almighty. The following extract from Campbell (African Light), may illustrate this passage: 'In a hot climate, where showers seldom fall, except in what is called the rainy season, the difference between a well and ill watered garden is most striking. I remember some gardens in Africa, where they could lead no water upon them, the plants were all stinted, sickly, or others completely gone, only the hole left where the faded plant had been. The sight was unpleasant, and caused gloom to appear in every countenance; they were pictures of desolation. But in other gardens, to which the owners could bring daily supplies of water from an overflowing fountain, causing it to traverse the garden, every plant had a green, healthy appearance, loaded with fruit, in different stages toward maturity, with fragrant scent proceeding from beds of lovely flowers; and all this produced by the virtue God hath put into the single article of water.'

Whose waters fail not - Margin, 'Lie,' or 'Deceive.' Hebrew, כזב kâzab - 'Lie.' Waters or springs lie or deceive when they become dried up, or fail in the dry seasons of the year. They deceive the shepherd who expected to obtain water there for himself or his flock; they deceive the caravan which had traveled to the well-known fountain where it had been often refreshed, and where, it is now found, its waters are dried up, or lost in the sand. Hence, such a brook or fountain becomes an emblem of a false and deceitful friend Job 6:15 :

My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook,

As the stream of brooks they pass away.

But in the supplies which God makes for his people there is no such deception. The fountains of pardon, peace, and joy are ever open and ever full. The streams of salvation are always flowing. The weary pilgrim may go there at any season of the year, and from any part of a desolate world, and find them always full, refreshing, and free. However far may be the pilgrimage to them from amidst the waste and burning climes of sin, however many come to slake their thirst, and however frequently they come, they find them always the same. They never fail; and they will continue to flow on to the end of time.

And make fat thy bones "And he shall renew thy strength" - Chaldaeus forte legit יחכיף עצמתך yachaliph otsmathecha; confer cap. Isaiah 40:29, Isaiah 40:31, et Isaiah 41:1. - Secker. "The Chaldee perhaps read יחליף עצמתך yachaliph otsmathecha. "The Chaldee has וגופך יחיי בחיי עלמא veguphach vechaiyey bechaiyey alma, "and he will vivify thy body in life eternal." The rest of the ancients seem not to know what to make of יחליץ yachalits; and the rendering of the Vulgate, which seems to be the only proper one, ossa tua liberabit, "he will deliver thy bones," makes no sense. I follow this excellent emendation; to favor which it is still farther to be observed that three MSS., instead of עצמתיך atsmotheycha, have עצמתך otsmathecha, singular. - L. And the Lord shall guide thee continually,.... With his counsel, by his word, and by his Spirit, and that night and day; as he guided the Israelites through the wilderness with the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night: or, "cause thee to rest" (k); from adversity, from persecution; to have spiritual rest in Christ now, and eternal rest hereafter:

and satisfy thy soul in drought; or, "in drynesses" (l); in an exceeding dry time; when in a dry and thirsty land; when thirsting after Christ and his grace, Christ and his righteousness; after more knowledge of him, communion with him, and conformity unto him; after the word and ordinances; after the presence of God in them; and after more spiritual light, knowledge, and experience:

and make fat thy bones; with the good report of the Gospel, Proverbs 15:30 that is, quicken, comfort, refresh, and strengthen the soul, and make it fat and flourishing in spiritual things, by means of Gospel ordinances. The Targum is,

"and shall quicken thy body with life everlasting;''

or give rest to thy bones, as others (m):

and thou shalt be like a watered garden; like a "garden", the church of Christ is separated from others, by electing, redeeming, and efficacious grace; and like a "watered" one, watered by the Lord himself, and the dews of his grace, and by the ministry of the word; whereby the plants that are planted in it thrive and flourish, lift up their heads, shoot up and grow, and bring forth fruit:

and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not; as there is in every believer a well of living water springing up unto everlasting life, not of themselves, but from Christ, and which is very abundant, and never fails; so there is in the church a spring of the living waters of Gospel doctrines, and of Gospel ordinances; here runs the river of divine love, which makes glad the city of God; here Christ is the fountain of gardens; and here the Spirit and his graces are communicated; all which remain, and never fail; see Psalm 87:7.

(k) "requiem tibi dabit", V. L. (l) "in siccitatibus", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Vitringa; "in summa ariditate", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. Abendana observes, that some interpret the word in the sense of purity, and understand it of the delight of the soul, in the world of souls, where the Lord leads them continually, and satisfies them with pure light, which is the brightness of the Shechinah, or divine Majesty. (m) R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 55. 2.

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.11. satisfy … in drought—(Isa 41:17, 18). Literally, "drought," that is, parched places [Maurer].

make fat—rather, "strengthen" [Noyes]. "Give thee the free use of thy bones" [Jerome], or, "of thy strength" [Horsley].

watered garden—an Oriental picture of happiness.

fail not—Hebrew, "deceive not"; as streams that disappoint the caravan which had expected to find water, as formerly, but find it dried up (Job 6:15-17).

Whilst the people on the fast-day are carrying on their worldly, selfish, everyday business, the fasting is perverted from a means of divine worship and absorption in the spiritual character of the day to the most thoroughly selfish purposes: it is supposed to be of some worth and to merit some reward. This work-holy delusion, behind which self-righteousness and unrighteousness were concealed, is met thus by Jehovah through His prophet: "Can such things as these pass for a fast that I have pleasure in, as a day for a man to afflict his soul? To bow down his head like a bulrush, and spread sackcloth and ashes under him - dost thou call this a fast and an acceptable day for Jehovah? Is not this a fast that I have pleasure in: To loose coils of wickedness, to untie the bands of the yoke, and for sending away the oppressed as free, and that ye break every kind of yoke? Is it not this, to break thy bread to the hungry, and to take the poor and houseless to thy home; when thou seest a naked man that thou clothest him, and dost not deny thyself before thine own flesh?" The true worship, which consists in works of merciful love to one's brethren, and its great promises are here placed in contrast with the false worship just described. הכזה points backwards: is such a fast as this a fast after Jehovah's mind, a day on which it can be said in truth that a man afflicts his soul (Leviticus 16:29)? The ה of הלכף is resumed in הלזה; the second ל is the object to תּקרא expressed as a dative. The first ל answers to our preposition "to" with the infinitive, which stands here at the beginning like a casus absol. (to hang down; for which the inf. abs. הכפוף might also be used), and as in most other cases passes over into the finite (et quod saccum et cinerem substernit, viz., sibi: Ges. 132, Anm. 2). To hang down the head and sit in sackcloth and ashes - this does not in itself deserve the name of fasting and of a day of gracious reception (Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 61:2) on the part of Jehovah (ליהוה for a subjective genitive).

Isaiah 58:6 and Isaiah 58:7 affirm that the fasting which is pleasant to Jehovah consists in something very different from this, namely, in releasing the oppressed, and in kindness to the helpless; not in abstinence form eating as such, but in sympathetic acts of that self-denying love, which gives up bread or any other possession for the sake of doing good to the needy.

(Note: The ancient church connected fasting with almsgiving by law. Dressel, Patr. Ap. p. 493.)

There is a bitter irony in these words, just as when the ancients said, "not eating is a natural fast, but abstaining form sin is a spiritual fast." During the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans a general emancipation of the slaves of Israelitish descent (who were to be set free, according to the law, every three years) was resolved upon and carried out; but as soon as the Chaldeans were gone, the masters fetched their liberated slaves back into servitude again (Jeremiah 34:8-22). And as Isaiah 58:6 shows, they carried the same selfish and despotic disposition with them into captivity. The זה which points forwards is expanded into infin. absolutes, which are carried on quite regularly in the finite tense. Mōtâh, which is repeated palindromically, signifies in both cases a yoke, lit., vectis, the cross wood which formed the most important part of the yoke, and which was fastened to the animal's head, and so connected with the plough by means of a cord or strap (Sir. 30:13; 33:27).

(Note: I have already observed at Isaiah 47:6, in vindication of what was stated at Isaiah 10:27, that the yoke was not in the form of a collar. I brought the subject under the notice of Prof. Schegg, who wrote to me immediately after his return from his journey to Palestine to the following effect: "I saw many oxen ploughing in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and the neighbourhood of Ephesus; and in every case the yoke was a cross piece of wood laid upon the neck of the animal, and fastened to the pole of the plough by a cord which passed under the neck of the animal.")

It is to this that אגדּות, knots, refers. We cannot connect it with mutteh, a state of perverted right (Ezekiel 9:9), as Hitzig does. רצוּצים are persons unjustly and forcibly oppressed even with cruelty; רצץ is a stronger synonym to עשׂק (e.g., Amos 4:1). In Isaiah 58:7 we have the same spirit of general humanity as in Job 31:13-23; Ezekiel 18:7-8 (compare what James describes in James 1:27 as "pure religion and undefiled"). לחם (פרשׂ) פרץ is the usual phrase for κλᾶν (κλάζειν) ἄρτον. מרוּדים is the adjective to עניּים, and apparently therefore must be derived from מרד: miserable men who have shown themselves refractory towards despotic rulers. But the participle mârūd cannot be found elsewhere; and the recommendation to receive political fugitives has a modern look. The parallels in Lamentations 1:7 and Lamentations 3:19 are conclusive evidence, that the word is intended as a derivative of רוּד, to wander about, and it is so rendered in the lxx, Targ., and Jerome (vagos). But מרוד, pl. מרוּדים, is no adjective; and there is nothing to recommend the opinion, that by "wanderers" we are to understand Israelitish men. Ewald supposes that מרוּדים may be taken as a part. hoph. for מוּרדים, hunted away, like הממותים in 2 Kings 11:2 (Keri המּמתים); but it cannot be shown that the language allowed of this shifting of a vowel-sound. We prefer to assume that מרוּדים (persecuted) is regarded as part. pass., even if only per metaplasmum, from מרד, a secondary form of רוּד (cf., מכס, מלץ, מצח, makuna). Isaiah 58:7 is still the virtual subject to אבחרהוּ צום. The apodosis to the hypothetical כּי commences with a perf. consec., which then passes into the pausal future תתעלּם. In hsilgnE:egaugnaL\&מבשׂרך (from thine own flesh) it is presupposed that all men form one united whole as being of the same flesh and blood, and that they form one family, owing to one another mutual love.

drought: Heb. droughts

fail: Heb. lie, or, deceive

58:3-12 A fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin, and does not promote the putting away of sin, it is not a fast. These professors had shown sorrow on stated or occasioned fasts. But they indulged pride, covetousness, and malignant passions. To be liberal and merciful is more acceptable to God than mere fasting, which, without them, is vain and hypocritical. Many who seem humble in God's house, are hard at home, and harass their families. But no man's faith justifies, which does not work by love. Yet persons, families, neighbourhoods, churches, or nations, show repentance and sorrow for sin, by keeping a fast sincerely, and, from right motives, repenting, and doing good works. The heavy yoke of sin and oppression must be removed. As sin and sorrow dry the bones and weaken the strongest human constitution; so the duties of kindness and charity strengthen and refresh both body and mind. Those who do justly and love mercy, shall have the comfort, even in this world. Good works will bring the blessing of God, provided they are done from love to God and man, and wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.Verse 11. - The Lord shall guide thee continually; i.e. "direct thee in all thy paths - teach thee the way that thou shouldst walk in." In drought. In time of spiritual depression and weariness. Make fat thy bones; i.e. sustain thy strength. Thou shall; be like a watered garden (comp. Jeremiah 31:12).

the Lord

Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun …

Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: …

Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even to death.

Psalm 73:24 You shall guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

John 16:13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you …

1 Thessalonians 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct …

and satisfy

Isaiah 33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions …

Job 5:20 In famine he shall redeem you from death: and in war from the power …

Psalm 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 34:9,10 O fear the LORD, you his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him…

Psalm 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine …

Jeremiah 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads …

Hosea 13:5 I did know you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.

drought. Heb. droughts. make fat

Psalm 92:14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat …

Proverbs 3:8 It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.

Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered …

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of …

Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife: but he that puts his …

be like

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the …

Songs 4:15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

Jeremiah 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall …

Ezekiel 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the …

fail. Heb. lie, or deceive

Job 6:15-20 My brothers have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream …

58:11 Guide thee - Like a shepherd. And he adds continually to shew that his conduct and blessing shall not be momentary, or of a short continuance, but all along as it was to Israel in the wilderness. Satisfy - Thou shalt have plenty, when others are in scarcity. Make fat - This may be spoken in opposition to the sad effects of famine, whereby the flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen, and the bones that were not seen, stick out. A garden - If thou relieve the poor, thou shalt never be poor, but as a well - watered garden, always flourishing. Fail not - Heb. deceive not, a metaphor which farther notes also the continuance of this flourishing state, which will not be like a land - flood, or brooks, that will soon be dried up with drought. Thou shalt be fed with a spring of blessing, that will never fail.
Links
Isaiah 58:11 NIV
Isaiah 58:11 NLT
Isaiah 58:11 ESV
Isaiah 58:11 NASB
Isaiah 58:11 KJV

Isaiah 58:11 Bible Apps
Isaiah 58:11 Parallel
Isaiah 58:11 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 58:11 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 58:11 French Bible
Isaiah 58:11 German Bible

Bible Hub
Isaiah 58:10
Top of Page
Top of Page