|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-9 The calling of the Gentiles, the spread of the gospel, and that far more extensive preaching of it yet to come, are foretold. Let Christians strengthen one another, and support one another. It is God who teaches his people, by his word and Spirit. Christ promotes peace, as well as holiness. If all men were real Christians, there could be no war; but nothing answering to these expressions has yet taken place on the earth. Whatever others do, let us walk in the light of this peace. Let us remember that when true religion flourishes, men delight in going up to the house of the Lord, and in urging others to accompany them. Those are in danger who please themselves with strangers to God; for we soon learn to follow the ways of persons whose company we keep. It is not having silver and gold, horses and chariots, that displeases God, but depending upon them, as if we could not be safe, and easy, and happy without them, and could not but be so with them. Sin is a disgrace to the poorest and the lowest. And though lands called Christian are not full of idols, in the literal sense, are they not full of idolized riches? and are not men so busy about their gains and indulgences, that the Lord, his truths, and precepts, are forgotten or despised?
Verse 9. - And the mean man boweth down, etc. So Ewald and Kay; but most other commentators render, "Therefore shall the mean man be bowed down, and the great man brought low, and thou shalt not [or, 'canst not'] forgive them" (Rosenmüller, Lowth, Gcsenius, Knobel, Cheyne). The transition from narrative to threatening comes best at the beginning of the verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself,.... Both high and low, rich and poor, bow down unto, humble themselves before, and worship idols made by the hands of men: the words for the "mean man" and "the great man" are and "Adam" and "Ish"; and which are also interpreted by Jarchi of little or mean men, and of princes and mighty ones:
therefore forgive them not; their sins of soothsaying, covetousness, and idolatry; and such that worship the beast and his image shall not be forgiven, but drink of the wine of divine wrath, and be tormented with fire for ever and ever, Revelation 14:9. These are either the words of the prophet to the Lord representing the church, and imprecating evils on antichristian worshippers; or of the angel to the Christian powers, exhorting them not to spare Babylon, Revelation 18:6 some refer these words to the mean and great men bowing down and humbling themselves, and read them in connection with them thus, "and lifts not up unto them"; that is, the head or soul; so Aben Ezra, who also observes, that the word "earth" may be wanting, and supplied thus, "and the earth shall not bear them"; they shall be destroyed from off it, both the idols and the worshippers of them. See Psalm 10:16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. mean—in rank: not morally base: opposed to "the great man." The former is in Hebrew, Adam, the latter, ish.
boweth—namely, to idols. All ranks were idolaters.
forgive … not—a threat expressed by an imperative. Isaiah so identifies himself with God's will, that he prays for that which he knows God purposes. So Re 18:6.
Isaiah 2:9 Parallel Commentaries
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