|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:9-17 Those who aim to ruin the church, can never do that, but will ruin themselves. What dismal changes sin can make! It turns a fruitful land into barrenness, a crowded city into a wilderness. Let us compare all we discover in the book of the Lord, with the dealings of providence around us, that we may be more diligent in seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What the mouth of the Lord has commanded, his Spirit will perform. And let us observe how the evidences of the truth continually increase, as one prophecy after another is fulfilled, until these awful scenes bring in more happy days. As Israel was a figure of the Christian church, so the Edomites, their bitter enemies, represent the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. God's Jerusalem may be laid in ruins for a time, but the enemies of the church shall be desolate for ever.
Verse 14. - Wild beasts of the desert... wild beasts of the island. In the original, tsiyim and 'iyim - "wailers" and "howlers" - probably jackals and wolves, or wolves and hyenas." The satyr (see the comment on Isaiah 13:21). The screech owl The word here used, lilith, occurs only in this place. It may be doubted whether any bird, or other animal, is meant. Lilit was the name of a female demon, or wicked fairy, in whom the Assyrians believed - a being thought to vex and persecute her victims in their sleep. The word is probably a derivative from leilah, night, and designates" the spirit of the night" - a mischievous being, who took advantage of the darkness to play fantastic tricks. A Jewish legend made Lilith the first wife of Adam, and said that, having pronounced the Divine Name as a charm, she was changed into a devil. It was her special delight to murder young children (Buxtorf, 'Lex. Rabbin.,' ad roe.). The prophets, when they employ poetic imagery, are not tied down to fact, but are free to use the beliefs of their contemporaries in order to heighten the force of their descriptions.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the islands,.... In Rome, and take up their abode there; of these creatures, the first of which the Targum renders monstrous ones, and the latter wild cats; see Gill on Isaiah 13:22,
and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; or the "hairy" one (r); from which word the goat has its name; and these creatures are described by the ancients as half goats and half men; of which See Gill on Isaiah 13:21. The Targum renders it demons; and with this well agrees the account of Babylon or Rome as fallen, that it shall be the habitation of, devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, Revelation 18:2,
the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest; there being no inhabitants to disturb her. By the name "Lilith", it appears to be a night bird, which flies and is heard in the night. The Jews call a she demon by this name, which, they say (s), has a human face, and has wings, and destroys children as soon as born; and therefore the Jews, especially in Germany, write upon the four corners of the bed of a new mother, Adam, Eve, out Lilith (t); the same with the Lamia of the Romans; and so the Vulgate Latin here renders it.
(r) "pilosus", a "capillus." (s) T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 24. 2.((t) Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Rab. col. 1140.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. wild beasts of the desert … island—rather, "wild cats … jackals" (Isa 13:21).
screech owl—rather, "the night specter"; in Jewish superstition a female, elegantly dressed, that carried off children by night. The text does not assert the existence of such objects of superstition, but describes the place as one which superstition would people with such beings.
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