Enter into the rock, and hide you in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Enter into the rock.—The limestone caverns of Palestine were natural asylums in times of terror and dismay (Judges 6:2; Judges 15:8; 1Samuel 13:6; 1Samuel 14:11; 1Samuel 24:3; 1Kings 18:4). Here, as in Micah 1:4, we may probably trace the impression left by the earthquake under Uzziah (Amos 1:1), when the people fled in terror from the city (Zechariah 14:5). Isaiah foresees the recurrence of a like panic in the future.Isaiah 2:10-11. Enter into the rock, &c. — Such calamities are coming upon you, that you will be ready to hide yourselves in rocks and caves of the earth, for fear of the glorious and terrible judgments of God. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled — The eyes that looked high; the countenance, in which the pride of the heart had showed itself, shall be cast down in shame and despair. The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down — Judicially, as they prostrated themselves before their idols voluntarily, the punishment being suited to their sin. And the Lord alone shall be exalted — The justice and power of Jehovah shall be magnified, and the impotence and vanity of all other gods shall be detected, at the same time that the self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and vain glory of man are abased and vilified.Isaiah 2:19, and Revelation 6:15-16. In times of invasion by an enemy, it was natural to flee to the fastnesses or to the caverns of rocks for refuge. This expression is highly figurative and poetic. The prophet warns them to flee from danger. The sense is, that such were their crimes that they would certainly be punished; and he advises them to flee to a place of safety.
And hide thee in the dust - In Isaiah 2:19, this is 'caves of the dust.' It is parallel to the former, and probably has a similar meaning. But "may" there not be reference here to the mode prevailing in the East of avoiding the monsoon or poisonous heated wind that passes over the desert? Travelers there, in order to be safe, are obliged to throw themselves down, and to place their mouths close to the earth until it has passed.
For fear of the Lord - Hebrew 'From the face of the terror of the Lord.' That is, the punishment which God will inflict will sweep over the land, producing fear and terror.
And for the glory ... - That is, the honor or splendor which will attend him when he comes forth to inflict judgment on the people; Isaiah 2:19-20.
dust—equivalent to "caves of the earth," or dust (Isa 2:19).
for fear, &c.—literally, "from the face of the terror of the Lord."Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust: this is spoken ironically, and with derision. The sense is, Such dreadful calamities are coming upon you, that you will be ready to hide yourselves in rocks and caves of the earth, but all to no purpose.
For fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty; for fear of the glorious and terrible judgments of God. Revelation 6:15 so it will be at the downfall of Rome Papal, when the kings and merchants of the earth, who have been concerned therewith, will stand afar off, as for fear of her torment, Revelation 18:10.
so for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty; lest he should pour out his wrath and vengeance upon them, and be a consuming fire to them, before whose glory and majesty they will not be able to stand; for this is to be understood not of a filial reverence of God, but of a servile fear of punishment; and these words are sarcastically said, suggesting that rocks and mountains will be no protection or security for them.Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. Enter into the rock] The clefts and caverns (see Isaiah 2:19; Isaiah 2:21) which abounded in the limestone rock of Palestine were used as natural hiding-places in time of invasion (Jdg 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6; 1 Samuel 14:11). Cf. the still more impressive representation, Hosea 10:8.
10, 11. It is doubtful whether these verses should be connected with what precedes or with what follows. Each is of the nature of a refrain verse: note the resemblances in 10, 19, 21 and in 11, 17. (In the LXX. Isaiah 2:10 ends with “to terrify the earth,” as 19, 21.) Although no strophic arrangement can be traced, the verses obviously express the keynote of this part of the discourse.Verse 10. - Enter into the rock. The limestone rocks of Palestine are full of extensive caverns, to which the Israelites often betook themselves in times of danger (see Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6; 1 Samuel 22:1, etc.). The prophet exhorts them to flee thither now, but without stating what exactly is the peril (comp. vers. 19, 21). Hide thee in the dust. Not "the dust of humiliation" (Kay), but "the dust of the earth" (Genesis 2:7), put here for the earth itself, as in ver. 19. For fear of the Lord; rather, from before the terror of Jehovah. Some awful manifestation of Jehovah's power is intended, its nature being still kept back and shrouded in darkness. Zechariah 9:10), there is no more need for weapons of iron: they are turned into the instruments of peaceful employment, into ittim (probably a synonym for ethim in 1 Samuel 13:21), plough-knives or coulters, which cut the furrows for the ploughshare to turn up and mazmeroth, bills or pruning-hooks, with which vines are pruned to increase their fruit-bearing power. There is also no more need for military practice, for there is no use in exercising one's self in what cannot be applied. It is useless, and men dislike it. There is peace, not an armed peace, but a full, true, God-given and blessed peace. What even a Kant regarded as possible is now realized, and that not by the so-called Christian powers, but by the power of God, who favours the object for which an Elihu Burritt enthusiastically longs, rather than the politics of the Christian powers. It is in war that the power of the beast culminates in the history of the world. This beast will then be destroyed. The true humanity which sin has choked up will gain the mastery, and the world's history will keep Sabbath. And may we not indulge the hope, on the ground of such prophetic words as these, that the history of the world will not terminate without having kept a Sabbath? Shall we correct Isaiah, according to Quenstedt, lest we should become chiliasts? "The humanitarian ideas of Christendom," says a thoughtful Jewish scholar, "have their roots in the Pentateuch, and more especially in Deuteronomy. But in the prophets, particularly in Isaiah, they reach a height which will probably not be attained and fully realized by the modern world for centuries to come." Yet they will be realized. What the prophetic words appropriated by Isaiah here affirm, is a moral postulate, the goal of sacred history, the predicted counsel of God.
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