Isaiah 6:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

New Living Translation
Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven's Armies."

English Standard Version
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

New American Standard Bible
Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

King James Bible
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.

International Standard Version
"How terrible it will be for me!" I cried, "because I am ruined! I'm a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips! And my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of the Heavenly Armies!"

NET Bible
I said, "Too bad for me! I am destroyed, for my lips are contaminated by sin, and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin. My eyes have seen the king, the LORD who commands armies."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So I said, "Oh, no! I'm doomed. Every word that passes through my lips is sinful. I live among people with sinful lips. I have seen the king, the LORD of Armies!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then I said, Woe is me! for I am dead because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of the hosts.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

American King James Version
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the middle of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

American Standard Version
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said: Woe is me, because I have held my peace; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people that hath unclean lips, and I have seen with my eyes the King the Lord of hosts.

Darby Bible Translation
And I said, Woe unto me! for I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.

English Revised Version
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

World English Bible
Then I said, "Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of Armies!"

Young's Literal Translation
And I say, 'Woe to me, for I have been silent, For a man -- unclean of lips am I, And in midst of a people unclean of lips I am dwelling, Because the King, Jehovah of Hosts, have my eyes seen.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:1-8 In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, Joh 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means burners; they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5-7. - THE SEQUEL OF THE VISION - THE PROPHET'S SENSE OF UNWORTHINESS. The vision of God in this life, whether natural or ecstatic, cannot but produce in the beholder a deep feeling of his unworthiness. God "is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity;" even "the heavens are not clean in his sight" (Job 15:15). Man, being never wholly purged from sin while on earth, cannot but shrink from contact with the absolutely Holy. Hence Isaiah's cry (ver. 5); and hence, to comfort him, the symbolic action of the seraph (ver. 6) and his encouraging words (ver. 7). Verse 5. - I am undone; literally, cut off, destroyed (comp. Isaiah 15:1; Jeremiah 47:5; Hosea 4:5, 6, etc.). God once said himself, "There shall no man see me and live" (Exodus 33:20). Men expected to die even when they had seen angels of God (Genesis 32:30; Judges 6:22, 23; Judges 13:22). How we are to reconcile Exodus 33:20 with this passage, Job 42:5, and Ezekiel 1:26-28, is uncertain. Perhaps the ecstatic sight was not included in the "seeing" of which God spoke to Moses. I am a man of unclean lips. A man must be indeed" perfect" never to offend in word (James 3:2). Isaiah felt that he had often so offended. His lips were not "clean" in God's sight, and if not his lips, then not his heart; for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34). I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. Men catch up the phraseology of their time, and use wrong forms of speech, because they hear them daily. "Evil communications corrupt good manners" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then said I, woe is me,.... There's no woe to a good man, all woes are to the wicked; but a good man may think himself wretched and miserable, partly on account of his own corruptions, the body of sin and death he carries about with him; and partly on account of wicked men, among whom he dwells, Romans 7:24,

for I am undone; a good man cannot be undone, or be lost and perish; he is lost in Adam with the rest; in effectual calling he is made sensible of his lost and undone state; and under the power of unbelief may write bitter things against himself; but be can never perish, or be lost and undone for ever. The Targum is,

"for I have sinned;''

and his particular sin is after mentioned: some (o) render it, "for I have been silent"; as if he had not performed the duty of his office, in reproving for sin, or declaring the will of God: others (p), "for I am reduced to silence", I am forced to be silent; he could not join with the "seraphim", being conscious to himself of his vileness, and of his unworthiness to take the holy name of God into his polluted lips, as follows:

because I am a man of unclean lips; he says nothing of the uncleanness of his heart, nor of his actions; not that he was free from such impurity; but only of his lips, because it was the sin of his office that lay upon his mind, and gave him present uneasiness; there is no man but offends in words, and of all men persons in public office should be careful of what they say; godly ministers are conscious of many failings in their ministry. The Targum is,

"because I am a sinful man to reprove;''

and so unfit for it.

And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; such were the Jews, not only in Isaiah's time, but in the times of Christ and his apostles, who traduced him, as if he was a wicked person, calumniated his miracles, said he was a Samaritan, and had a devil; they taught for doctrines the commandments of men, and opposed and blasphemed the truths of the Gospel; and to live among men of a filthy speech and conversation is a concern to a good man; he is vexed and distressed hereby; he is in danger of learning their words, and of suffering with them in a common calamity.

For mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts; the same divine and glorious Person described in Isaiah 6:1 who is no other than the Lord Christ, King of kings, and Lord of lords, King of saints, and Lord of the armies, in heaven and in earth; and a lovely sight it is to see him by faith, in the glory and beauty of his person, and in the fulness of his grace; such a sight is spiritual, saving, assimilating, appropriating, very endearing, and very glorious and delightful: wherefore it may seem strange that a sight of Christ should fill the prophet with dread; one would think he should rather have said, happy man that I am, because I have seen this glorious Person, whom to see and know is life eternal; but the reason of it is, because in this view of Christ he saw the impurity of himself, and was out of conceit with himself, and therefore cries out in the manner he does; just as in a sunbeam a man beholds those innumerable motes and atoms, which before were invisible to him. It was not because of his sight of Christ he reckoned himself undone; but because of the impurity of himself, and those among whom he dwelt, which he had a view of through his sight of Christ: his sight of Christ is given as a reason of his view of his impurity, and his impurity as the reason of his being undone in his apprehension of things. The prophet, in these his circumstances, represents a sensible sinner, under a sight and sense of his sinfulness and vileness; as the seraph in the following verses represents a Gospel minister bringing the good news of pardon, by the blood and sacrifice of Christ.

(o) "quia tacui", V. L.; so R. Joseph Kimchi. (p) "Ad silentium redactus sum", Tigurine version.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. undone—(Ex 33:20). The same effect was produced on others by the presence of God (Jud 6:22; 13:22; Job 42:5, 6; Lu 5:8; Re 1:17).

lips—appropriate to the context which describes the praises of the lips, sung in alternate responses (Ex 15:20, 21; Isa 6:3) by the seraphim: also appropriate to the office of speaking as the prophet of God, about to be committed to Isaiah (Isa 6:9).

seen—not strictly Jehovah Himself (Joh 1:18; 1Ti 6:16), but the symbol of His presence.

Lord—Hebrew, "Jehovah."

Isaiah 6:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Isaiah's Vision of the Lord in His Glory
4And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." 6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.…
Cross References
Luke 5:8
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"

Exodus 6:12
But Moses said to the LORD, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?"

Exodus 6:30
But Moses said to the LORD, "Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?"

Exodus 24:10
and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky.

Exodus 33:20
But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

Numbers 17:12
The Israelites said to Moses, "We will die! We are lost, we are all lost!

Job 42:5
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Isaiah 33:17
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.

Isaiah 59:3
For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things.

Isaiah 64:6
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Jeremiah 9:3
"They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 51:57
I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty.

Ezekiel 12:2
"Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.

Daniel 9:20
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill--
Treasury of Scripture

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the middle of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

said I

Exodus 33:20 And he said, You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Judges 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas…

Judges 13:22 And Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Job 42:5,6 I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you…

Daniel 10:6-8 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance …

Habakkuk 3:16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness …

Luke 5:8,9 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart …

Revelation 1:16,17 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went …

undone. Heb. cut off
a man

Exodus 4:10 And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither …

Exodus 6:12,30 And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of …

Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

Zechariah 3:1-7 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel …

Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? …

James 3:1,2 My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the …

I dwell

Isaiah 29:13 Why the Lord said, For as much as this people draw near me with their …

Jeremiah 9:3-8 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are …

Ezekiel 2:6-8 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of …

Ezekiel 33:31 And they come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you …

James 3:6-10 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among …

mine eyes

Isaiah 33:17 Your eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the …

Revelation 1:5-7 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first …

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