Isaiah 57:9
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"You have journeyed to the king with oil And increased your perfumes; You have sent your envoys a great distance And made them go down to Sheol.

King James Bible
And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst multiply thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers afar off, and didst debase thyself unto Sheol.

World English Bible
You went to the king with oil, and did increase your perfumes, and did send your ambassadors far off, and debased yourself even to Sheol.

Young's Literal Translation
And goest joyfully to the king in ointment, And dost multiply thy perfumes, And sendest thine ambassadors afar off, And humblest thyself unto Sheol.

Isaiah 57:9 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And thou wentest to the king - Margin, 'Respectedst.' Jerome renders this, 'Thou hast adorned thyself with royal ointment, and hast multiplied thy painting; and evidently understands it as a continuance of the sentiment in the previous verses as referring to the kind of decoration which harlots used. The Septuagint renders it, 'Thou hast multiplied thy fornication with them, and hast done it with many who are far from thee.' The Chaldee renders it, 'When thou didst keep the law thou wert prosperous in the kingdom; and when thou didst abound in good works, then thine armies were multiplied.' Lowth supposes that the king of Egypt or Assyria is intended, and that the prophet refers to the fact, that the Hebrews had sought an alliance with them, and in order to secure it, had carried a present of valuable unguents, after the manner of the East. Rosenmuller supposes, that by the king an idol was intended, and that the sense is, that they had anointed themselves with oil, and prepared perfumes, in order to be acceptable to the idol; that is, had decorated themselves as harlots did.

Grotius supposes that it means that they had imitated foreign kings, and copied the customs of other nations, and refers to the example of Ahaz 2 Kings 16:10. Others suppose that the word 'king' is to be taken collectively, and that it means that they had sought the alliance, and imitated the customs of foreign nations in general. It is probable that the prophet refers to some such fact. On former occasions, they had sought the alliance of the king of Assyria (see Isaiah 7:1); and on one occasion, at least, they had meditated an alliance with the king of Egypt (Isaiah 30:2 ff.) The essential idea is, that they had proved unfaithful to Yahweh. This idea is presented here under the image of a female unfaithful to her husband, who had decorated and perfumed herself that she might allure others. Thus the Jews had forsaken God, and had endeavored to make themselves agreeable in the sight of other nations, and had courted their friendship and alliance. The word I 'king,' according to this, refers not to idols, but to foreign princes, whose assistance had been sought.

And didst increase thy perfumes - That is, for the purpose of rendering thyself agreeable, after the manner of a licentious female (see Proverbs 7:17). The custom of perfuming the person was common in the East, and is still practiced there.

And didst send thy messengers - That is, to distant nations, for the purpose of securing their alliance.

And didst debase thyself even unto hell - On the meaning of the word 'hell,' see the notes at Isaiah 5:14. The idea is, that they had sunk to the deepest possible debasement. In forsaking Yahweh; in seeking foreign alliances; in their anxiety to secure their aid when Yahweh was abundantly able and willing to protect them, they had sunk to the lowest degradation of character and condition. The sentiment is, that people degrade themselves when they do not put confidence in God, and when, distrusting his ability, they put reliance on any other aid than his. If people have God for their protector, why should they court the friendship of earthly princes and kings?

Isaiah 57:9 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Loftiness of God
ISAIAH lvii. 15. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. This is a grand text; one of the grandest in the whole Old Testament; one of those the nearest to the spirit of the New. It is full of Gospel--of good news: but it is not the whole Gospel. It does not tell us the whole character
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

The Comforts Belonging to Mourners
Having already presented to your view the dark side of the text, I shall now show you the light side, They shall be comforted'. Where observe: 1 Mourning goes before comfort as the lancing of a wound precedes the cure. The Antinomian talks of comfort, but cries down mourning for sin. He is like a foolish patient who, having a pill prescribed him, licks the sugar but throws away the pill. The libertine is all for joy and comfort. He licks the sugar but throws away the bitter pill of repentance. If
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

I Will Pray with the Spirit and with the Understanding Also-
OR, A DISCOURSE TOUCHING PRAYER; WHEREIN IS BRIEFLY DISCOVERED, 1. WHAT PRAYER IS. 2. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY WITH THE SPIRIT. 3. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY WITH THE SPIRIT AND WITH THE UNDERSTANDING ALSO. WRITTEN IN PRISON, 1662. PUBLISHED, 1663. "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought:--the Spirit--helpeth our infirmities" (Rom 8:26). ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. There is no subject of more solemn importance to human happiness than prayer. It is the only medium of intercourse with heaven. "It is
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Coming Revival
"Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"--PS. lxxxv. 6. "O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years."--HAB. iii. 2. "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thy right hand shall save me."--PS. cxxxviii. 7. "I dwell with him that is of a humble and contrite heart, to revive the heart of the contrite ones."--ISA. lvii. 15. "Come, and let us return to the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us. He will revive us."--HOS. vi. 1, 2. The Coming
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Cross References
Ezekiel 16:33
"Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers to bribe them to come to you from every direction for your harlotries.

Ezekiel 23:16
"When she saw them she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

Ezekiel 23:40
"Furthermore, they have even sent for men who come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and lo, they came-- for whom you bathed, painted your eyes and decorated yourselves with ornaments;

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