|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
59:1-8 If our prayers are not answered, and the salvation we wait for is not wrought for us, it is not because God is weary of hearing prayer, but because we are weary of praying. See here sin in true colours, exceedingly sinful; and see sin in its consequences, exceedingly hurtful, separating from God, and so separating us, not only from all good, but to all evil. Yet numbers feed, to their own destruction, on infidel and wicked systems. Nor can their skill or craft, in devising schemes, as the spider weaves its web, deliver or save them. No schemes of self-wrought salvation shall avail those who despise the Redeemer's robe of righteousness. Every man who is destitute of the Spirit of Christ, runs swiftly to evil of some sort; but those regardless of Divine truth and justice, are strangers to peace.
Verse 8. - The way of peace they know not. They have no desire for "peace," and neither "seek" it nor "ensue" it (1 Peter 3:11). Peace can only be obtained through righteousness (Isaiah 32:17). There is no judgment in their goings; rather, no justice - no recognition of other men's rights, no endeavour to observe right in their own acts and proceedings (comp. ver. 4; and see also Isaiah 1:17, 21, 23; Isaiah 3:14, 15, etc.). They have made them crooked paths (comp. Proverbs 2:15; Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 28:6). The way that leadeth to life is straight. They have wandered from it, and made for themselves "crooked" paths, which can only lead to destruction. In such paths there neither is nor can be "peace."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The way of peace they know not,.... Neither the way of peace with God, supposing it is to be made by man, and not by Christ; and are ignorant of the steps and methods taken to procure it; nor do they know the way of peace of conscience, or how to attain to that which is true and solid; nor the way to eternal peace and happiness, which is alone by Christ, and the Gospel of peace reveals, to which they are strangers; nor the way of peace among men, which they are unconcerned about, and do not seek after, make use of no methods to promote, secure, and establish it; but all the reverse:
and there is no judgment in their goings; no justice in their actions, in their dealings with men; no judgment in their religious duties, which are done without any regard to the divine rule, or without being able to give a reason for them; they have no judgment in matters of doctrine or worship; they have no discerning of true and false doctrines, and between that which is spiritual and superstitious in worship; they have no knowledge of the word of God, which should be their guide both in faith and practice; but this they do not attend unto:
they have made them crooked paths: they have devised paths and modes of worship of their own, in which they walk, and which they observe, that are not according to the rule of the word; but deviate from it; and so may be said to be crooked, as not agreeable to that:
whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace; the way of peace with God, as before; or he shall not have any experience of true, solid, and substantial peace in his own conscience now, and shall not attain to eternal peace hereafter.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. peace—whether in relation to God, to their own conscience, or to their fellow men (Isa 57:20, 21).
crooked—the opposite of "straightforward" (Pr 2:15; 28:18).
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