|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
57:3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with judgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction. Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame our indifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sin is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. This explains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But those who set up anything instead of God, for their hope and confidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasures of sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the word of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God. Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.
Verse 9. - And thou wentest to the king, Delitzsch and Mr. Cheyne understand "the King of Assyria," and regard the verse as bringing forward a new subject of complaint: "Not only hast thou deserted me tot other gods, but thou trustest for aid, not to me, but to the Assyrian monarch." But there is no indication of the Jews having put any trust in Assyria after the reign of Ahaz, to which this chapter, by its position in the prophecy, cannot belong. Moreover, the King of Assyria is never called simply" the king." It is, therefore, better to regard "the king" as Moloch, whom the Jews of Isaiah's time certainly worshipped (see ver. 5), and whose name was a mere dialectic variety of Melech, "king" (see Dean Payne Smith's ' Sermons on Isaiah,' sermon 4. p. 119). Ointment... perfumes. Either bearing them as offerings, or herself perfumed with them, as was the practice of lewd women (Proverbs 7:17). And didst send thy messengers far off; i.e. to distant Moloch-shrines. And didst debase thyself even unto hell; i.e. "didst take on thee the yoke of a mean and grovelling superstition, which debased thee to the lowest point conceivable." There was nothing lower in religion than the worship of Moloch.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou wentest to the king with ointment,.... To the kings of the earth, the singular for the plural, with whom the whore of Rome has committed fornication or idolatry, in allusion to harlots, who, in order to render themselves the more agreeable to their lovers, anointed themselves with ointment: this may respect the grace of the Spirit of God, which the church of Rome pretends to give by administration of the sacraments, which it is said confer grace "ex opere operato"; and the extreme unction given as a meetness for heaven, in the last moments of life:
and didst increase thy perfumes; after the manner of harlots, who, to ingratiate themselves with men, use much perfumes: this may signify the many ways the whore of Rome takes to make herself regarded by the kings and nations of the earth; pretending to antiquity, infallibility, power of working miracles, works of supererogation, primacy and superiority over all other churches; using great pomp and splendour in places of worship, and in all religious services:
and didst send thy messengers far off; not only into neighbouring kingdoms and states, into all the nations of Europe; but even into the most distant parts of the world, into both the Indies, in order to make proselytes, spread the religion of the see of Rome, and increase its power. The pope's "nuncios" and "legates a latere", may be here pointed at, as well as the Jesuits his emissaries, sent into all parts to promote his interest. Jarchi's note is,
"to exact tribute of the kings of the nations;''
which has been the business of the pope's legates:
and didst debase thyself even unto hell; or lay thyself low; prostitute thyself as harlots do to every lover; or didst feign thyself very lowly and humble, as the pope does when he calls himself "servus servorum"; or rather, "thou didst depress", or "bring low, even unto hell" (t); that is, multitudes of men and women, who are brought down to hell by the false doctrine and worship of the church of Rome; and the followers of the man of sin say, that if he brings down thousands into hell, none ought to say, what dost thou? Cocceius thinks it may have respect to his pretended power over hell, to send as many there as do not please him; arrogating to himself the keys of heaven and hell; or over purgatory, a figment of his brain, where he pretends the souls of men are for a time, and from whence, for a sum of money, he delivers them. The Targum is,
"thou hast depressed the strength of the people; or, as some copies, the strong of the people unto hell.''
(t) "et demisti usque ad infernum", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. the king—the idol which they came to worship, perfumed with oil, like harlots (Jer 4:30; Eze 23:16, 40). So "king" means idol (Am 5:26; Zep 1:5); (malcham meaning "king") [Rosenmuller]. Rather, the king of Assyria or Egypt, and other foreign princes, on whom Israel relied, instead of on God; the "ointment" will thus refer to the presents (Ho 12:1), and perhaps the compliances with foreigners' idolatries, whereby Israel sought to gain their favor [Lowth] (Isa 30:6; Eze 16:33; 23:16; Ho 7:11).
send … messengers far off—not merely to neighboring nations, but to those "far off," in search of new idols, or else alliances.
even unto hell—the lowest possible degradation.
Isaiah 57:9 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 57:9 NIV
Isaiah 57:9 NLT
Isaiah 57:9 ESV
Isaiah 57:9 NASB
Isaiah 57:9 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible