|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 14. - Judgment is turned away backward. In conclusion, the crying sin of perversion of justice is admitted with much amplification.
(1) Right judgment is exactly inverted - the innocent are condemned, the guilty acquitted.
(2) Justice standeth afar off - too far off to be able to hear those who make appeal to it.
(3) Truth is fallen in the street; i.e. false witness prevails over true in the courts of justice.
(4) Equity cannot enter - is not admitted inside the courts, but waits without.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off,.... Jarchi interprets this of the vengeance of God, and his righteousness in his judgments, not immediately executed; but it is to be understood of the want of judgment and justice being done among men; and therefore are represented as persons turned back, and standing afar off, rejected, neglected, and discouraged. The Targum renders it,
"they that do judgment are turned back, and they that do justice stand afar off;''
having none to take their parts, but everyone opposing them: this may respect both the want of judgment and justice in courts of judicature; no regard being had to right and wrong; no true judgment being given, or justice done, in any cause; but both banished from the bench: and also in the churches of Christ, or, however, under a profession of his name, where there is no judgment in doctrines, or discerning between truth and error; and no justice inflicted on delinquents according to the rules of Christ; no order nor discipline observed in his house; these are dismissed and discarded:
for truth is fallen in the street; where it used to be preached, exalted, established, and confirmed; but now thrown down and trampled upon, and few or none to help it up, and stand by it; and though it may have some secret well wishers, yet very few, if any, public advocates for it:
and equity cannot enter; either into civil courts, or Christian congregations; the doing of that which is just and right between man and man in things civil; and between Christian and Christian in things religious; or that which is right according to the word of God; can find no place, or cannot be admitted into assemblies that are called by his name. The Targum is,
"they that do truth stumble in the street; and they that exercise faith cannot be made manifest;''
such as are on the side of truth, in the service of it, cannot stand their ground through the violence of their opposers; and those that are faithful, and abide by the doctrine of faith, are forced to hide themselves, and cannot appear in the vindication of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Justice and righteousness are put away from our legal courts.
in the street—in the forum, the place of judicature, usually at the gate of the city (Zec 8:16).
cannot enter—is shut out from the forum, or courts of justice.
Isaiah 59:14 Parallel Commentaries
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