|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
59:9-15 If we shut our eyes against the light of Divine truth, it is just with God to hide from our eyes the things that belong to our peace. The sins of those who profess themselves God's people, are worse than the sins of others. And the sins of a nation bring public judgments, when not restrained by public justice. Men may murmur under calamities, but nothing will truly profit while they reject Christ and his gospel.
Verse 10. - We grope for the wall; rather, we grope along the wall (comp. Deuteronomy 28:29; and for the "blindness that had happened unto Israel" see above, Isaiah 29:10, 18; Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 42:16, etc.). We stumble at noonday. It was not that light was really wanting, but they had no eyes to behold it. We are in desolate places; rather, in dark places (Vulgate, Rodiger, Kay, Knobel). The word occurs only in this place, and is of doubtful signification.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
We grope for the wall like the blind,.... Who either with their hands, or with a staff in them, feel for the wall to lean against, or to guide them in the way, or into the house, that they may know whereabout they are, and how they should steer their course:
and we grope as if we had no eyes: which yet they had, the eyes of their reason and understanding; but which either were not opened, or they made no use of them in searching the Scriptures, to come at the light and knowledge of divine things; and therefore only at most groped after them by the dim light of nature, if thereby they might find them. This is to be understood not of them all, but of many, and of the greatest part:
we stumble at noonday as in the night; as many persons do now: for though it is noonday in some respects, and in some places, where the Gospel and the truths of it are clearly preached; yet men stumble and fall into the greatest errors, as in the night of the greatest darkness; as if it was either the night of Paganism or Popery with them:
we are in desolate places as dead men; or "in fatnesses" (a); in fat places where the word and ordinances are administered, where is plenty of the means of grace, yet not quickened thereby; are as dead men, dead in trespasses and sin, and at most have only a name to live, but are dead. Some render it, "in the graves" (b); and the Targum thus,
"it is shut before us, as the graves are shut before the dead;''
we have no more light, joy, and comfort, than those in the graves have.
(a) "in rebus pinguissimis", Junius & Tremellius; "in pinguetudinibus", Piscator; "in opimis rebus", Vitringa. (b) "In sepulchris", Pagninus; and so Ben Melech interprets it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. grope—fulfilling Moses' threat (De 28:29).
stumble at noon … as … night—There is no relaxation of our evils; at the time when we might look for the noon of relief, there is still the night of our calamity.
in desolate places—rather, to suit the parallel words "at noonday," in fertile (literally, "fat"; Ge 27:28) fields [Gesenius] (where all is promising) we are like the dead (who have no hope left them); or, where others are prosperous, we wander about as dead men; true of all unbelievers (Isa 26:10; Lu 15:17).
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