|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-9 God was about to deprive Judah of every stay and support. The city and the land were to be made desolate, because their words and works had been rebellious against the Lord; even at his holy temple. If men do not stay themselves upon God, he will soon remove all other supports, and then they must sink. Christ is the Bread of life and the Water of life; if he be our Stay, we shall find that is a good part not to be taken away, Joh 6:27. Here note, 1. That the condition of sinners is exceedingly woful. 2. It is the soul that is damaged by sin. 3. Whatever evil befals sinners, be sure that they bring it on themselves.
Verse 3. - The captain of fifty. "Captains of fifties" were scarcely at this period "civil officers" (Cheyne). They represent simply the lowest grade of officers in the army (2 Kings 1:9, 11, 13). Honorable. The same expression is used again in Isaiah 9:15. It occurs also in 2 Kings 5. I and Job 22:8. The cunning artificer. "All the craftsmen and smiths" in Jerusalem were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar in the captivity of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:14; cf. Jeremiah 24:1). They were among the most valuable of the population, in time of war no less than of peace, since on them depended the construction and repair of the military engines which were regarded as of so much importance (2 Chronicles 26:15). The eloquent orator; rather, the expert enchanter (comp. Ecclesiastes 10:11; Jeremiah 8:17).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The captain of fifty,.... A semi-centurion, such an one as in 2 Kings 1:9. So far should there be from being captains of thousands, and of hundreds, that there should not be one of fifty:
and the honourable man; by birth, breeding, and behaviour, through riches and greatness; and one of power and authority among the people, and in their favour and esteem:
and the counsellor; one able to give advice in matters of moment and difficulty, and in controversy between man and man; it suggests that nothing should be done with advice and counsel, with wisdom and discretion, but all tumult and sedition, as the history of these times shows: the Jews (b) interpret this of one that knows how to intercalate years, and fix the months: and the
cunning artificer: in any kind of metal, old, silver, brass, and iron, and in any sort of wood, and in any kind of manual and mechanical business; which would now be laid aside, shops shuts up, and all trade and business neglected and discouraged, occasioned partly by the siege without, and chiefly by their internal divisions and robberies, and by their zealots and cutthroats, which swarmed among them. The Septuagint render it, "the wise architect", or "masterbuilder"; the same word is used by the apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:10,
and the eloquent orator; who has the tongue of the learned, and can speak a word in season to the distressed; or who is able to plead at the bar the cause of the injured and oppressed, the widow and the fatherless. Aben Ezra interprets it of one that is skilful in enchanting serpents; that charms wisely, as in Psalm 58:5 it may be rendered, "one that understands enchantment" (c): with the Septuagint it is a "prudent hearer"; sad is the case of a nation when men of so much usefulness are taken away from them. See 2 Kings 24:15.
(b) T. Bab. Chagiga & Jarchi, ut supra. (fol. 14. 1. Jarchi in loc.) (c) "intelligentem incantationis", Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. captain of fifty—not only captains of thousands, and centurions of a hundred, but even semi-centurions of fifty, shall fail.
honourable—literally, "of dignified aspect."
cunning—skilful. The mechanic's business will come to a standstill in the siege and subsequent desolation of the state; artisans are no mean "stay" among a nation's safeguards.
eloquent orator—rather, as Vulgate, "skilled in whispering," that is, incantation (Ps 58:5). See Isa 8:19, below; and on "prudent," see on Isa 3:2.
Isaiah 3:3 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 3:3 NIV
Isaiah 3:3 NLT
Isaiah 3:3 ESV
Isaiah 3:3 NASB
Isaiah 3:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible