|Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible|
For a small moment have I forsaken thee,.... The people of God seem to be forsaken by him when he hides his face from them, as it is afterwards explained; when they are in distress, and he does not immediately appear for them; when they are afflicted in body and mind, though these afflictions are but for a moment; nor are they really forsaken, not as to things temporal or spiritual; God never forsakes the work of his own hands, nor his people, at least for ever, or so as that they shall perish. Some interpret this of the seventy years' captivity of the Jews in Babylon, which was but a very short time; others of the times of ignorance in the Gentile world before the coming of Christ, which God winked at, when he overlooked them, and took no notice of them; but I choose to understand it of the time and state of the Christian church, during the ten persecutions of Rome Pagan, when it seemed to be forsaken of God, and to be triumphed over by her enemies:
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Thus does Jehovah's displeasure towards Jerusalem pass quickly away; and all the more intense is the manifestation of love which follows His merely momentary anger. "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, and with great mercy will I gather thee. In an effusion of anger I hid my face from thee for a moment, and with everlasting grace I have compassion upon thee, saith Jehovah thy Redeemer." "For a small moment" carries us to the time of the captivity, which was a small moment in comparison with the duration of the tender and merciful love, with which Jehovah once more received the church into His fellowship in the person of its members. רגע in Isaiah 54:8 is not an adverb, meaning momentarily, as in Isaiah 47:9, but an accusative of duration, signifying a single moment long. Ketseph signifies wrath regarded as an outburst (fragor), like the violence of a storm or a clap of thunder; shetseph, which rhymes with it, is explained by A. Schultens, after the Arabic, as signifying durum et asperum esse: and hence the rendering adopted by Hitzig, "in hard harshness." But this yields no antithesis to "everlasting kindness," which requires that shetseph should be rendered in some way that expresses the idea of something transitory or of short duration. The earlier translators felt this, when like the lxx for example, they adopted the rendering ἐν θυμῷ μικρῷ, and others of a similar kind; and Ibn Labrt, in his writing against Menahem b. Zerk, who gives chŏrı̄, burning heat, as a gloss to shetseph, explains it by מעט (as Kimchi and others did afterwards). But, as Jakob Tam correctly observes, "this makes the sense purely tautological." In all probability, shâtsaph is a form allied to shâtaph, as nâshabh (Isaiah 40:7) is to nâshaph (Isaiah 40:24), and qâmat (Job 16:8) to qâmats, which stand in the same relation to one another, so far as the sense is concerned, as bubbling over to flowing over: so that the proper rendering would not be "in the overflowing of glowing heat," as Umbreit thinks, which would require קצף בּשׁטף (Proverbs 27:4), but in the gushing up of displeasure, the overflowing of indignation (Meier). The ketseph is only a shetseph, a vanishing moment (Jer. in momento indignationis), when compared with the true feeling of Jehovah towards Jerusalem, which is chesed ‛ōlâm, everlasting kindness.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
For a small moment - The Chaldee and Syriac render this, 'In a little anger.' Lowth has adopted this, but without sufficient authority. The Hebrew means, 'For a little moment;' a very short time. The reference here is probably to the captivity at Babylon, when they were apparently forsaken by Yahweh. Though to them this appeared long, yet compared with their subsequent prosperity, it was but an instant of time. Though this had probably a primary reference to the captivity then, yet there can be no impropriety in applying it to other similar cases. It contains an important principle; that is, that though God appears to forsake his people, yet it will be comparatively but for a moment. He will remember his covenant, and however long their trials may seem to be, yet compared with the subsequent mercies and the favors which shall result from them, they will seem to be but as the sorrows of the briefest point of duration (compare 2 Corinthians 4:17).
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
For a small moment "In a little anger" - So the Chaldee and Syriac, either reading רגז regaz, for רגע rega; or understanding the latter word as meaning the same with the former, which they both make use of. See Psalm 30:5; Psalm 35:20, in the Septuagint, where they render רגע rega by οργη, anger.
Geneva Study Bible
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
54:7 For a moment - In comparison of God's everlasting kindness. Gather thee - From all the places where thou art dispersed, from all parts of the world.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. small moment-as compared with Israel's coming long prosperity (Isa 26:20; 60:10). So the spiritual Israel (Ps 30:5; 2Co 4:17).
gather thee-to Myself from thy dispersions.
Isaiah 54:7 Parallel Commentaries
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