|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:24-30 Let not any expect to live easily who live wickedly. Sin weakens the strength, the root of a people; it defaces the beauty, the blossoms of a people. When God's word is despised, and his law cast away, what can men expect but that God should utterly abandon them? When God comes forth in wrath, the hills tremble, fear seizes even great men. When God designs the ruin of a provoking people, he can find instruments to be employed in it, as he sent for the Chaldeans, and afterwards the Romans, to destroy the Jews. Those who would not hear the voice of God speaking by his prophets, shall hear the voice of their enemies roaring against them. Let the distressed look which way they will, all appears dismal. If God frowns upon us, how can any creature smile? Let us diligently seek the well-grounded assurance, that when all earthly helps and comforts shall fail, God himself will be the strength of our hearts, and our portion for ever.
Verse 30. - Like the roaring of the sea. Not content with one simile, the prophet has recourse to a second. "The noise of the Assyrian army shall be like that of a raging sea;" or, perhaps, "After he has carried off his prey, the Assyrian shall still continue to growl and threaten, like a stormy sea." If one look unto the land, etc. If Israel turn its gaze from Assyria to its own land, it sees nothing but a dark prospect - darkness and distress, all light shrouded amid clouds and deep obscurity. The text and the construction are, both of them, uncertain; but the general meaning can scarcely be other than this.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea,.... That is, the Romans against the Jews; whose attacks upon them should be with so much fierceness and power, that it should be like the roaring of the sea, which is very dreadful, and threatens with utter destruction; the roaring of the sea and its waves is mentioned among the signs preceding Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans, Luke 21:25,
and if one look unto the land: the land of Judea, when wasted by the Romans, or while those wars continued between them and the Jews; or "into it" (k).
behold darkness; great affliction and tribulation being signified by darkness and dimness; see Isaiah 8:21.
and sorrow or "distress", great straits and calamities:
and, or "even",
the light is darkened in the heavens thereof; in their civil and church state, the kingdom being removed from the one, and the priesthood from the other; and their principal men in both, signified by the darkness of the sun, moon, and stars. Matthew 24:29.
(k) "in terram", Montanus, Piscator; "in hanc terram", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. sorrow, and the light is darkened—Otherwise, distress and light (that is, hope and fear) alternately succeed (as usually occurs in an unsettled state of things), and darkness arises in, &c. [Maurer].
heavens—literally, "clouds," that is, its sky is rather "clouds" than sky. Otherwise from a different Hebrew root, "in its destruction" or ruins. Horsley takes "sea … look unto the land" as a new image taken from mariners in a coasting vessel (such as all ancient vessels were), looking for the nearest land, which the darkness of the storm conceals, so that darkness and distress alone may be said to be visible.
Isaiah 5:30 Parallel Commentaries
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