Isaiah 16:5
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting 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." Isaiah 16:5There they show themselves, on the spot to which their land once reached before it passed into the possession of Israel - there, on its farthest boundary in the direction towards Judah, which was seated above; and taking heart, address the following petitions to Zion, or to the Davidic court, on the other side. "Give counsel, form a decision, make thy shadow like night in the midst of noon; hide the outcasts, do not betray the wanderers. Let mine outcasts tarry in thee, Moab; be a covert to it from before the spoiler." In their extremity they appeal to Zion for counsel, and the once proud but now thoroughly humbled Moabites place the decision of their fate in the hands of the men of Judah (so according to the Keri), and stand before Zion praying most earnestly for shelter and protection. Their fear of the enemy is so great, that in the light of the noon-day sun they desire to be covered with the protecting shade of Zion as with the blackness of night, that they may not be seen by the foe. The short-sentences correspond to the anxious urgency of the prayer (cf., Isaiah 33:8). Pelilâh (cf., peililyyâh, Isaiah 28:7) is the decision of a judge (pâlil); just as in Isaiah 15:5 sheilshiyyâh is the age and standing of three years. The figure of the shadow is the same as in Isaiah 30:2-3; Isaiah 32:2, etc.; nōdēd is the same as in Isaiah 21:14; niddâchai as in Isaiah 11:12; sēther as in Isaiah 32:2, and other passages; shōdēd as in Isaiah 33:1; mippenē as in Isaiah 21:15. The whole is word for word Isaiah's. There is no necessity to read nidchē instead of niddâc Mo'âb in Isaiah 16:4; still less is ay a collective termination, as in Isaiah 20:4. Nor are the words to be rendered "my outcasts ... of Moab," and the expression to be taken as a syntaxis ornata (cf., Isaiah 17:6). On the contrary, such an expression is absolutely impossible here, where the speaker is alluding to himself. It is better to abide by the punctuation as we have it, with niddâchai (zakeph) closing the first clause of Isaiah 16:4, and Moab (tebir, which is subordinate to the following tiphchah, and with this to athnach) opening the second as an absolute noun. This is the way in which we have rendered it above: "Moab ... be a shield to it ... " (though without taking lâmō as equivalent to lō).

The question then arises, By what means has Zion awakened such reverence and confidence on the part of Moab? This question is answered in Isaiah 16:4, Isaiah 16:5 : "For the extortioner is at an end, desolation has disappeared, treaders down are away from the land. And a throne is established by grace, and there sits thereon in truth in the tent of David one judging, and zealous for right, and practised in righteousness." The imperial world-power, which pressed out both marrow and blood (mētz, a noun of the same form as lētz, like mı̄tz in Proverbs 30:33, pressure), and devastated and trod down everything (Isaiah 29:20; Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 33:1, cf., Isaiah 16:8), is swept away from the land on this side of the Jordan; Jerusalem is not subject to it now, but has come forth more gloriously out of all her oppressions than ever she did before. And the throne of the kingdom of Judah has not fallen down, but by the manifestation of Jehovah's grace has been newly established. There no longer sits thereon a king who dishonours Him, and endangers His kingdom; but the tent-roof of the fallen and now re-erected hut of David (Amos 9:11) is spread over a King in whom the truth of the promise of Jehovah is verified, inasmuch as justice and righteousness are realized through all that He does. The Messianic times must therefore have dawned (so the Targum understands it), since grace and truth (chesed ve'emeth) and "justice and righteousness" (mishpât ūtzedâkâh) are the divino-human signs of those times, and as it were their kindred genii; and who can here fail to recall to mind the words of Isaiah 9:6 (cf., Isaiah 33:5-6)? The king depicted here is the same as "the lion out of Judah," threatened against Moab in Isaiah 15:9. Only by thus submitting to Him and imploring His grace will it escape the judgment.

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