|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-9 Isaiah signifies, The salvation of the Lord; a very suitable name for this prophet, who prophesies so much of Jesus the Saviour, and his salvation. God's professing people did not know or consider that they owed their lives and comforts to God's fatherly care and kindness. How many are very careless in the affairs of their souls! Not considering what we do know in religion, does us as much harm, as ignorance of what we should know. The wickedness was universal. Here is a comparison taken from a sick and diseased body. The distemper threatens to be mortal. From the sole of the foot even to the head; from the meanest peasant to the greatest peer, there is no soundness, no good principle, no religion, for that is the health of the soul. Nothing but guilt and corruption; the sad effects of Adam's fall. This passage declares the total depravity of human nature. While sin remains unrepented, nothing is done toward healing these wounds, and preventing fatal effects. Jerusalem was exposed and unprotected, like the huts or sheds built up to guard ripening fruits. These are still to be seen in the East, where fruits form a large part of the summer food of the people. But the Lord had a small remnant of pious servants at Jerusalem. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. The evil nature is in every one of us; only Jesus and his sanctifying Spirit can restore us to spiritual health.
Verse 7. - Your country is desolate. Metaphor is now dropped, and the prophet describes in strong but simple language the judgments of God, which have already followed the sins of the nation. First of all, their land is "a desolation." It has been recently ravaged by an enemy; the towns have been burnt, the crops devoured. There is nothing to determine who the enemy had been. Knobel supposes the Edomites and Philistines, who invaded Judaea in the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:17, 18), to be intended; Rosenmüller suggests the Israelites under Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25:21-24); while Mr. Cheyne supposes the devastation to have been wrought by the Assyrians under Sargon. If we could be assured that the prophecies of Isaiah are arranged in chronological order, we should either have to accept Rosenmüller's view, or to suppose some invasion of Judaea to have taken place in the later years of Uzziah of which no mention is made by the authors of Kings and Chronicles; but it is impossible to be certain on what principle Isaiah's prophecies are arranged. The mention of "strangers" is in favor of the enemy having been actual foreigners, and therefore not the Israelites. Your cities are burned with fire. The common fate of cities taken in war. In the Assyrian sculptures we often see the torch applied to them. Your land. Mr. Cheyne translates, "your tillage." Adamah means "soil" or "ground" generally; but here no doubt denotes the ground which bore crops. Strangers devour it; i.e. "foreigners" others than the sons of the soil - not necessarily persons of a different race, but still probably such persons. In your presence; before your eyes, as you look on - an aggravation of the affliction. It is desolate, as overthrown by strangers; literally, it is a desolation, like an overthrow by strangers. The near approach to repetition displeases moderns, who conjecture
(1) that zarim, strangers, has another meaning, and should be here translated by "inundation" or "deluge" (Aben Ezra, Michaelis, Lowth); or
(2) that it is a wrong reading, and should Be altered into sodim, a word not very different (Ewald, Cheyne). But "the return to words whose sounds are yet lingering in the ear" is characteristic of ancient writing, and a favorite practice of Isaiah's (Kay). The translation of the Authorized Version may therefore stand.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Your country is desolate,.... Or "shall be"; this is either a declaration in proper terms of what is before figuratively expressed, or rather a prophecy of what would be their case on account of transgressions; and which had its accomplishment partly in the Babylonish captivity, and fully in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; when not only their city and temple, called their house, Matthew 23:38, were left unto them desolate, but the whole land; and they were carried captive, and scattered among the nations, where they have been ever since:
your cities are, or shall be,
burned with fire; as, Jerusalem has been, and other cities in Judea, Matthew 22:7.
your land, strangers devour it in your presence; before their eyes, and it would not be in their power to prevent it; meaning either the Babylonians or the Romans, or both, and especially the latter, who were strangers and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel:
and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers; who ravage, plunder, and destroy all they meet with, and spare nothing, not intending to settle there, as those who are near do, when they conquer a neighbouring nation. Some think this prophecy was delivered in the times of Ahaz, and refers to the desolation in his time, 2 Chronicles 28:17 but rather, as Joel and Amos prophesied before Isaiah, he may refer to those desolating judgments, they speak of, by the locusts, caterpillars, and fire, Joel 1:4 but to consider the words as a prediction of what should be in after times seems best; and so the Arabic version reads the words, "your land shall be desolate, your cities shall be burnt with fire, and your country strangers shall devour before you"; or shall be as overthrown by strangers, being overflown with a flood or storm of rain; so Abendana (d).
(d) As if it was which signifies a flood, or overflowing of water, Habakkuk 3.10. to which sense Aben Ezra inclines; so Schultens in Job 24.8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Judah had not in Uzziah's reign recovered from the ravages of the Syrians in Joash's reign (2Ch 24:24), and of Israel in Amaziah's reign (2Ch 25:13, 23, &c.). Compare Isaiah's contemporary (Am 4:6-11), where, as here (Isa 1:9, 10), Israel is compared to "Sodom and Gomorrah," because of the judgments on it by "fire."
in your presence—before your eyes: without your being able to prevent them.
desolate, &c.—literally, "there is desolation, such as one might look for from foreign" invaders.
Isaiah 1:7 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 1:7 NIV
Isaiah 1:7 NLT
Isaiah 1:7 ESV
Isaiah 1:7 NASB
Isaiah 1:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible