Isaiah 59:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.

King James Bible
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

American Standard Version
Yea, truth is lacking; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And Jehovah saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And truth hath been forgotten: and he that departed from evil, lay open to be a prey: and the Lord saw, and it appeared evil in his eyes, because there is no judgment.

English Revised Version
Yea, truth is lacking; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

Webster's Bible Translation
Yes, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

Isaiah 59:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

In the second strophe the prophet includes himself when speaking of the people. They now mourn over that state of exhaustion into which they have been brought through the perpetual straining and disappointment of expectation, and confess those sins on account of which the righteousness and salvation of Jehovah have been withheld. The prophet is speaking communicatively here; for even the better portion of the nation was involved in the guilt and consequences of the corruption which prevailed among the exiles, inasmuch as a nation forms an organized whole, and the delay of redemption really affected them. "Therefore right remains far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold darkness; for brightness - we walk in thick darkness. We grope along the wall like the blind, and like eyeless men we grope: we stumble in the light of noon-day as in the darkness, and among the living like the dead. We roar all like bears, and moan deeply like doves: we hope for right, and it cometh not; for salvation - it remaineth far off from us." At the end of this group of verses, again, the thought with which it sets out is palindromically repeated. The perfect רחקה denotes a state of things reaching from the past into the present; the future תשּׂיגנוּ a state of things continuing unchangeable in the present. By mishpât we understand a solution of existing inequalities or incongruities through the judicial interposition of God; by tsedâqâh the manifestation of justice, which bestows upon Israel grace as its right in accordance with the plan of salvation after the long continuance of punishment, and pours out merited punishment upon the instruments employed in punishing Israel. The prophet's standpoint, whether a real or an ideal one, is the last decade of the captivity. At that time, about the period of the Lydian war, when Cyrus was making one prosperous stroke after another, and yet waited so long before he turned his arms against Babylon, it may easily be supposed that hope and despondency alternated incessantly in the minds of the exiles. The dark future, which the prophet penetrated in the light of the Spirit, was indeed broken up by rays of hope, but it did not amount to light, i.e., to a perfect lighting up (negōhōth, an intensified plural of negōhâh, like nekhōchōth in Isaiah 26:10, pl. of nekhōchâh in Isaiah 59:14); on the contrary, darkness was still the prevailing state, and in the deep thick darkness ('ăphēlōth) the exiles pined away, without the promised release being effected for them by the oppressor of the nations. "We grope," they here complain, "like blind men by a wall, in which there is no opening, and like eyeless men we grope." גּשּׁשׁ (only used here) is a synonym of the older משּׁשׁ (Deuteronomy 28:29); נגשׁשׁה (with the elision of the reduplication, which it is hardly possible to render audible, and which comes up again in the pausal נגשּׁשׁה) has the âh of force, here of the impulse to self-preservation, which leads them to grope for an outlet in this ἀπορία; and עינים אין is not quite synonymous with עורים, for there is such a thing as blindness with apparently sound eyes (cf., Isaiah 43:8); and there is also a real absence of eyes, on account of either a natural malformation, or the actual loss of the eyes through either external injury or disease.

In the lamentation which follows, "we stumble in the light of noon-day (צהרים, meridies equals mesidies, the culminating point at which the eastern light is separated from the western) as if it were darkness, and בּאשׁמנּים, as if we were dead men," we may infer from the parallelism that since בּאשׁמנּים must express some antithesis to כּמּתים, it cannot mean either in caliginosis (Jer., Luther, etc.), or "in the graves" (Targ., D. Kimchi, etc.), or "in desolate places" (J. Kimchi). Moreover, there is no such word in Hebrew as אשׁם, to be dark, although the lexicographers give a Syriac word אוּתמנא, thick darkness (possibly related to Arab. ‛atamat, which does not mean the dark night, but late in the night); and the verb shâmēn, to be fat, is never applied to "fat, i.e., thick darkness," as Knobel assumes, whilst the form of the word with נ c. dagesh precludes the meaning a solitary place or desert (from אשׁם equals שׁמם). The form in question points rather to the verbal stem שׁמן, which yields a fitting antithesis to כמתים, whether we explain it as meaning "in luxuriant fields," or "among the fat ones, i.e., those who glory in their abundant health." We prefer the latter, since the word mishmannı̄m (Daniel 11:24; cf., Genesis 27:28) had already been coined to express the other idea; and as a rule, words formed with א prosth. point rather to an attributive than to a substantive idea. אשׁמן is a more emphatic form of שׁמן (Judges 3:29);

(Note: The name of the Phoenician god of health and prosperity, viz., Esmoun, which Alois Mller (Esmun, ein Beitrag zur Mythologie des orient. Alterthums. 1864) traces to חשׁמן (Psalm 68:32) from אשׁם equals חשׁם, "the splendid one (illustris)," probably means "the healthy one, or one of full health" (after the form אשׁחוּר, אשׁמוּרה), which agrees somewhat better with the account of Photios: ̓́Εσμουνον ὑπὸ Φοινίκων ὠνομασμένον ἐπὶ τῇ θέρμη τῆς ζωῆς.)

and אשׁמנּים indicates indirectly the very same thing which is directly expressed by משׁמנּים in Isaiah 10:16. Such explanations as "in opimis rebus" (Stier, etc.), or "in fatness of body, i.e., fulness of life" (Bttcher), are neither so suitable to the form of the word, nor do they answer to the circumstances referred to here, where all the people in exile are speaking. The true meaning therefore is, "we stumble (reel about) among fat ones, or those who lead a merry life," as if we were dead. "And what," as Doederlein observes, "can be imagined more gloomy and sad, than to be wandering about like shades, while others are fat and flourishing?" The growling and moaning in Isaiah 59:11 are expressions of impatience and pain produced by longing. The people now fall into a state of impatience, and roar like bears (hâmâh like fremere), as when, for example, a bear scents a flock, and prowls about it (vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile: Hor. Ephesians 16.51); and now again they give themselves up to melancholy, and moan in a low and mournful tone like the doves, quarum blanditias verbaque murmur habet (Ovid). הגה, like murmurare, expresses less depth of tone or raucitas than המה. All their looking for righteousness and salvation turns out again and again to be nothing but self-deception, when the time for their coming seems close at hand.

Isaiah 59:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

truth

Isaiah 48:1 Hear you this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah...

Psalm 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher...

Psalm 12:1,2 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men...

Jeremiah 5:1,2 Run you to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if you can find a man...

Jeremiah 7:28 But you shall say to them, This is a nation that obeys not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receives correction: truth is perished...

Hosea 4:1,2 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land...

Micah 7:2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood...

he that

Habakkuk 1:13,14 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity: why look you on them that deal treacherously...

Acts 9:1,23 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest...

Romans 8:36 As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Hebrews 11:36-38 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment...

1 John 3:11,12 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another...

maketh himself a prey, or is accounted mad

2 Kings 9:11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said to him, Is all well? why came this mad fellow to you?...

Jeremiah 29:26 The LORD has made you priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be officers in the house of the LORD...

Hosea 9:7 The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad...

Mark 3:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

John 8:52 Then said the Jews to him, Now we know that you have a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and you say, If a man keep my saying...

John 10:20 And many of them said, He has a devil, and is mad; why hear you him?

Acts 26:24 And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are beside yourself; much learning does make you mad.

2 Corinthians 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

displeased him. Heb. was evil in his eyes

Genesis 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: why he slew him also.

2 Samuel 11:27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son...

2 Chronicles 21:7 However, the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David...

Cross References
Isaiah 1:21
How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

Isaiah 5:23
who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!

Isaiah 10:2
to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!

Isaiah 29:21
who by a word make a man out to be an offender, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.

Isaiah 32:7
As for the scoundrel--his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right.

Isaiah 59:4
No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

Jeremiah 7:28
And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

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