Isaiah 16:5
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit on it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hastening righteousness.
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(5) And in mercy shall the throne . . .—Better, less definitely, in mercy shall a throne be established, and one shall sit upon it in truth. The prophet has in mind the ideal king of Isaiah 9:4-7; Isaiah 11:1-5 (of whom Hezekiah was a partial type and representative), whom he expected after the downfall of the Assyrian oppressor. For the “tabernacle of David,” comp. Amos 9:11.

Isaiah 16:5. And in mercy — By my mercy. I am now punishing their sins, yet I will deliver them for my own mercy’s sake. The throne shall be established — The kingdom of Judah. He — Their king; shall sit upon it in truth — That is, firmly and constantly; for truth is often put for the stability and certainty of a thing, as 2 Chronicles 32:1; Proverbs 11:18. In the tabernacle of David — In the house, or palace, which is called a tent, or tabernacle, with respect to the unsettledness of David’s house, which now indeed was more like a tabernacle than a strong palace. Seeking judgment — Searching out the truth of things with care and diligence; and hasting righteousness — Neither denying nor yet delaying justice. Interpreters vary greatly concerning the application of this passage. Some refer it entirely to Hezekiah, a pious and just king, whose throne, after the chastisement of Sennacherib in Judea, was established in glory; others refer it immediately to the Messiah; and others again to both: to Hezekiah as the type, and to the Messiah, in a more sublime sense, as the antitype; and this seems to be nearly the opinion of Vitringa, who thinks that while the prophet was speaking of the advantages of the kingdom of Hezekiah, he was carried forward to a contemplation of the kingdom of Christ, and made use of such phrases as, in their full extent, can only be applied to that kingdom.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.And in mercy - In benignity; kindness; benevolence.

Shall the throne be established - The throne of the king of Judah. That is, he that shall sit upon the throne of David shall be disposed to repay the kindness which is now sought at the hand of Moab, and shall be able to do it.

And he shall sit upon it - The king of Israel.

In truth - In faithfulness; that is, shall be true and faithful. His character shall be such that he will do justice, and will furnish protection and aid to the Moabites, if they now receive the fugitives of Israel.

In the tabernacle of David - In the dwelling place; the palace of David; for so the word "tabernacle, or tent" (אהל 'ôhel) seems to be used here. It means "temple" in Ezekiel 41:1. It denotes a habitation, or dwelling place, in general, in Proverbs 14:11; Psalm 52:7; Psalm 91:10. The palace, court, or "citadel" of David, was on mount Zion; and the sense here is, that the king to whom Israel refers would be a worthy successor of David - just, true, faithful, benignant, and disposed to repay the favors now sought at the hand of Moab.

Seeking judgment - Anxious to do right; and seeking an opportunity to recompense those who had shown any favor to the people of the Jews. Moab, therefore, if she would now afford protection to the Jews, might be certain of a recompense.

And hasting righteousness - Not tardy and slow in doing what should be done - anxious to do justice to all. It is implied here also, that a king who would be so just, and so anxious to do "right" to all, would not only be ready to show kindness to the Moabites, if they protected the fugitives of Judea, but would also be disposed to do "right" if they refused that protection; that is, would be disposed to inflict "punishment" on them. Alike, therefore, by the hope of the protection and favor of the king of the Jews, and by the dread of punishment, the prophet endeavors to persuade Moab now to secure their favor by granting protection to their exiles.

5. If Judah shelters the suppliant Moab, allowing him to remain in Idumea, a blessing will redound to Judah itself and its "throne."

truth … judgment … righteousness—language so divinely framed as to apply to "the latter days" under King Messiah, when "the Lord shall bring again the captivity of Moab" (Ps 72:2; 96:13; 98:9; Jer 48:47; Ro 11:12).

hasting—"prompt in executing."

In mercy; by my mercy. Though they have sinned, and I am now punishing their sins, yet I will deliver them for my own mercy’s sake.

The throne; the kingdom od Judah. Therefore for thine own sake show them kindness in this day of their distress; for they will be capable of requiting thee.

He; their king, which is easily and necessarily understood.

Shall sit upon it in truth; which may respect either,

1. The manner of his government, exercising truth and justice. But that is more plainly and fully expressed in the last part of the verse. Or,

2. The continuance of it, in truth, i.e. firmly and constantly; for truth is oft put for the stability and certainty of a thing, as 2 Chronicles 32:1 Proverbs 11:18 Isaiah 61:8. And this makes the argument more considerable to the present purpose. The kingdom shall not only be restored, but firmly settled; therefore it is your interest, O Moabites, to be kind to my people.

In the tabernacle; in the house, or palace, which is called a tent, or tabernacle, either because houses are frequently so called in Scripture, as 2 Samuel 20:1 1 Kings 8:66 12:16, or with respect unto the unsettledness of David’s house, which now indeed was more like a tabernacle than a strong palace; and yet, notwithstanding its present imbecility, should be firmly established.

Seeking judgment; searching out the truth of causes and things with care and diligence, which is the duty of a judge.

Hasting righteousness; neither denying nor yet delaying justice. And these good qualifications seem to be here mentioned, partly to teach the rulers of Moab their duty towards their own people, and the Israelites which were among them; and partly as a reason and evidence of that stability which he had promised to the house of David. And in mercy shall the throne be established,.... That is, the throne of Hezekiah, and his government over Judah, which was more firmly settled and established after the overthrow of the Assyrian army, through the mercy of God vouchsafed to him, and on account of the mercy he exercised among his subjects, see Proverbs 20:28. Hezekiah was a type of Christ, and his throne typical of his, and the ultimate view of the prophecy may be to the stability of the kingdom of Christ; so the Targum,

"then the Christ of Israel, his throne shall be established in goodness:''

and he shall sit upon it in truth; which does not so much intend the reality of his sitting there, as his continuance, signified by sitting, and the constancy and stability of his reign, or his governing with faith fulness and truth;

in the tabernacle of David; or "tent"; meaning his palace, or house in Jerusalem, alluding to his having been a shepherd before he was a king, or referring to the unsettled state of David's house; this was typical of the church of God, where Christ sits and reigns as King, see Amos 9:11; the Targum is,

"in the city of David;''

Jerusalem, as Aben Ezra:

judging and seeking judgment; acting the part of a righteous, faithful, and diligent Judge; seeking to do justice to the poor and needy, and searching into the cause that comes before him, to find out, and take the right side of it:

and hasting righteousness; not delaying justice, protracting a cause, deferring the sentence, and the execution of it, but dispatching the whole as speedily as may be; all which characters, though they may be found in Hezekiah, yet are much more eminently in Christ.

And in mercy shall the throne be established: {e} and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and swiftly executing righteousness.

(e) Meaning, Christ.

5. And in mercy] If we follow Hitzig’s view of Isaiah 16:4 this would be rendered “then in mercy.” The phraseology of the verse is Messianic (see esp. ch. Isaiah 9:6) but not exclusively so (cf. Proverbs 8:28). In the lips of the Moabites the language is that of extravagant and (as Isaiah 16:6 appears to intimate) insincere adulation. It implies an offer of perpetual submission on the part of the Moabites to the Davidic dynasty, and therefore the question whether the throne be that of Judah or that of Moab is immaterial.

and he shall sit … judging] Better: and there shall sit upon it in faithfulness in the tabernacle of David (cf. Amos 9:11) one who judgeth, &c.

hasting righteousness] i.e. as R.V. has it, swift to do righteousness.Verse 5. - And in mercy shall the throne be established; rather, and there shall be a throne established in mercy. A Messianic vision comes upon the prophet in connection with the disappearance of the oppressor. There shall be one day - he knows not how soon or how late - a throne established in mercy, and "One shall be seated upon it in truth, who. shall occupy the tent [or, 'house'] of David, as one who judges, and seeks justice, and hastens on [the reign of] righteousness." 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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