Isaiah 16:4
Let my outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be you a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortionist is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
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(4) Let mine outcasts dwell with thee . . .—Better, let the outcasts of Moab dwell with thee. Judah, as being herself in safety, is once more appealed to to show mercy to the Moabite fugitives. The “oppressors” are, literally, they that trample under foot.

16:1-5 God tells sinners what they may do to prevent ruin; so he does to Moab. Let them send the tribute they formerly engaged to pay to Judah. Take it as good advice. Break off thy sins by righteousness, it may lengthen thy quiet. And this may be applied to the great gospel duty of submission to Christ. Send him the lamb, the best you have, yourselves a living sacrifice. When you come to God, the great Ruler, come in the name of the Lamb, the Lamb of God. Those who will not submit to Christ, shall be as a bird that wanders from her nest, which shall be snatched up by the next bird of prey. Those who will not yield to the fear of God, shall be made to yield to the fear of every thing else. He advises them to be kind to the seed of Israel. Those that expect to find favour when in trouble themselves, must show favour to those in trouble. What is here said concerning the throne of Hezekiah, also belongs, in a much higher sense, to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Though by subjection to Him we may not enjoy worldly riches or honours, but may be exposed to poverty and contempt, we shall have peace of conscience and eternal life.Let mine outcasts - This may be understood as the language of Judea, or of God. 'Mine outcasts' may mean the exiles of Judea, or God may call them "his." The sense is essentially the same. It denotes those who were fugitives, wanderers, exiles from the land of Judea, and who took refuge in the land of Moab; and God claims for them protection.

Dwell with thee - Not dwell permanently, but sojourn (יגוּרוּ yāgûrû), let them remain with you as exiles; or let them find a refuge in your land.

Be thou a covert to them - A refuge; a hiding-place; a place of "secrecy" (סתר sêther).

From the face of the spoiler - That is, the conqueror from whose desolating career they would seek a refuge in the land of Moab. Who this "spoiler" would be, is not known. It would seem to be some invader who was carrying desolation through the land of Judea. It may be observed, however, that Lowth, by setting the points aside, supposes that this should be read, 'Let the outcasts of Moab sojourn with thee, O Zion.' So Noyes. But this seems to me not to suit the connection and the design; which is, to persuade the Moabites to conciliate the favor of the Jews by affording a hiding-place to their fugitives.

For the extortioner is at an end - literally, 'there is an end, or there will be an end of the oppressor; or he will be wonting.' The Chaldee renders it, 'The enemy is at an end.' The idea here seems to be, that the oppressor in the land of Judea would not continue there always; the exiles of the Jews might soon return; and Judea be able "then" to return kindness to Moab. Judea did not ask that her exiles should permanently abide in Moab, but asked only a temporary refuge, with the certainty that she would be soon delivered from her oppressions, and would then be able to furnish aid to Moab in return.

The oppressors are consumed - Or, 'the treader down,' he that has trodden down the nations "shall" soon be removed, and "then," in turn, Judea will be able to repay the kindness which is now asked at the hand of Moab, in pemitting her exiles to remain in their land.

4. Rather, "Let the outcasts of Moab dwell with thee" (Judah) [Horsley].

for the extortioner, &c.—The Assyrian oppressor probably.

is at an end—By the time that Moab begs Judah for shelter, Judah shall be in a condition to afford it, for the Assyrian oppressor shall have been "consumed out of the land."

Mine outcasts; whom though I have forsaken, and sorely chastened, yet I do, and still will, own for my people; and I do observe, and will requite, both the kindnesses and the injuries done to them.

The extortioner is at an end; shall shortly be destroyed, and my people shall ere long be restored, and then thou wilt not lose the fruit of thy kindness. The present tense is put for the future, as it is usually in prophecies. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee,.... Not whom God had cast out, but who were the Lord's people, and whom he owns as such, though cast out by the enemy, or obliged to flee, and quit their country; let these be sojourners in thy land; let them continue awhile there; let them dwell privately and peaceably:

Moab, be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: that is, O king of Moab, or kingdom of Moab, as the Targum, hide and protect the Jews that shall flee to thee for shelter, from the face of the spoiler of their land and substance, Sennacherib king of Assyria; and, to encourage them to do these things, it is suggested that they would not be long troublesome to them, and would quickly be in a capacity of requiting them, and of being serviceable to them in like distress:

for the extortioner is at an end; or "the squeezer", or "wringer out" (a); that oppressed them, and wrung their property out of their hands; that milked them out of their substance, and even sucked their blood; meaning the Assyrian monarch, whose time was short, and an end was soon put to all his schemes and oppressions:

the spoiler ceaseth: out of the land, being obliged to depart out of it:

the oppressors are consumed out of the land: the Assyrian army, and its officers, who were all consumed in one night by an angel, 2 Kings 19:35.

(a) "expressor", Pagninus, Montanus; "emunctor, vel emulsor", Vatablus.

Let my outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner {d} is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.

(d) The Assyrians will oppress the Israelites but for a while.

4. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab] Rather, Let the outcasts of Moab sojourn with thee (as protected guests). This implies a slight change of the vowel points, but has the authority of the chief ancient versions in its favour. The A.V. is a correct translation of the text as pointed, and far preferable to that of R.V., which joins the word Moab to the next clause, a construction unnatural in the extreme, although suggested by the Heb. accents. The vocative use of “Moab” in A.V., and probably also in the Massoretic text, implies that Isaiah 16:3-5 are conceived as an address to the Moabites.

for the extortioner is at an end …] The rest of the verse cannot, in this form, be uttered by the Moabites. We may either suppose with Dillmann that a word meaning “until” has been lost, or (better) with Hitzig take the clauses as protasis to Isaiah 16:5, “for when the extortioner, &c.” This is perhaps preferable to regarding it as a reflection of the prophet himself.

the spoiler] Strictly spoiling (R.V.).Verse 4. - Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab. The change of one accent will allow of this passage being translated, Let the outcasts of Moab dwell with thee; and so it is rendered by the LXX., the Syriac, by Lowth, Gesenius, Hitzig, Ewald, and Mr. Cheyne. Delitzsch and Dr. Kay agree with the Authorized Version. For the extortioner is at an end. This seems to be urged as a reason why the protection asked should be given: it will not be for long - the oppressor is about to receive chastisement. He is called "the extortioner," as exacting the utmost possible tribute from conquered lands. Such exaction was characteristic of Assyria (2 Kings 15:19; 2 Kings 18:14; 'Assyrian Inscriptions,' passim). The spoiler ceaseth; literally, devastation ceaseth. As Moabitis has thus become a great scene of conflagration, the Moabites cross the border and fly to Idumaea. The reason for this is given in sentences which the prophet again links on to one another with the particle ci (for). "Therefore what has been spared, what has been gained, and their provision, they carry it over the willow-brook. For the scream has gone the round in the territory of Moab; the wailing of Joab resounds to Eglayim, and his wailing to Beeer-Elim. For the waters of Dimon are full of blood: for I suspend over Dimon a new calamity, over the escaped of Moab a lion, and over the remnant of the land." Yithrâh is what is superfluous or exceeds the present need, and pekuddâh (lit. a laying up, depositio) that which has been carefully stored; whilst ‛âsâh, as the derivative passage, Jeremiah 48:36, clearly shows (although the accusative in the whole of Isaiah 15:7 is founded upon a different view: see Rashi), is an attributive clause (what has been made, worked out, or gained). All these things they carry across nachal hâ‛arâbim, i.e., not the desert-stream, as Hitzig, Maurer, Ewald, and Knobel suppose, since the plural of ‛arâbâh is ‛arâboth, but either the Arab stream (lxx, Saad.), or the willow-stream, torrens salicum (Vulg.). The latter is more suitable to the connection; and among the rivers which flow to the south of the Arnon from the mountains of the Moabitish highlands down to the Dead Sea, there is one which is called Wadi Sufsaf, i.e., willow-brook (Tzaphtzphh is the name of a brook in Hebrew also), viz., the northern arm of the Seil el-Kerek. This is what we suppose to be intended here, and not the Wadi el-Ahsa, although the latter (probably the biblical Zered

(Note: Hence the Targ. II renders nachal zered "the brook of the willows." See Buxtorf, Lex. chald. s.v. Zerad.))

is the boundary river on the extreme south, and separates Moab from Edom (Kerek from Gebal: see Ritter, Erdk. xv 1223-4). Wading through the willow-brook, they carry their possessions across, and hurry off to the land of Edom, for their own land has become the prey of the foe throughout its whole extent, and within its boundaries the cry of wailing passes from Eglayim, on the south-west of Ar, and therefore not far from the southern extremity of the Dead Sea (Ezekiel 47:10), as far as Beer-elim, in the north-east of the land towards the desert (Numbers 21:16-18; עד must be supplied: Ewald, 351, a), that is to say, if we draw a diagonal through the land, from one end to the other. Even the waters of Dibon, which are called Dimon here to produce a greater resemblance in sound to dâm, blood, and by which we are probably to understand the Arnon, as this was only a short distance off (just as in Judges 5:19 the "waters of Megiddo" are the Kishon), are full of blood,

(Note: דם מלאוּ, with munach (which also represents the metheg) at the first syllable of the verb (compare Isaiah 15:4, לּו ירעה, with mercha), according to Vened. 1521, and other good editions. This is also grammatically correct.)

so that the enemy must have penetrated into the very heart of the land in his course of devastation and slaughter. But what drives them across the willow-brook is not this alone; it is as if they forebode that what has hitherto occurred is not the worst or the last. Jehovah suspends (shith, as in Hosea 6:11) over Dibon, whose waters are already reddened with blood, nōsâphōth, something to be added, i.e., a still further judgment, namely a lion. The measure of Moab's misfortunes is not yet full: after the northern enemy, a lion will come upon those that have escaped by flight or have been spared at home (on the expression itself, compare Isaiah 10:20; Isaiah 37:32, and other passages). This lion is no other than the basilisk of the prophecy against Philistia, but with this difference, that the basilisk represents one particular Davidic king, whilst the lion is Judah generally, whose emblem was the lion from the time of Jacob's blessing, in Genesis 49:9.

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