Isaiah 2:14
And on all the high mountains, and on all the hills that are lifted up,
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(14)And upon all the high mountains.—Possibly the prophet may have had in his mind the thunderstorm of Psalm 29:5—“the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.” The oaks of Bashan were, like the cedars of Lebanon, proverbially types of forest greatness (Isaiah 33:9). Literally, the words must have found a fulfilment in the ravages of Sargon’s and Sennacherib’s armies.

2:10-22 The taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans seems first meant here, when idolatry among the Jews was done away; but our thoughts are led forward to the destruction of all the enemies of Christ. It is folly for those who are pursued by the wrath of God, to think to hide or shelter themselves from it. The shaking of the earth will be terrible to those who set their affections on things of the earth. Men's haughtiness will be brought down, either by the grace of God convincing them of the evil of pride, or by the providence of God depriving them of all the things they were proud of. The day of the Lord shall be upon those things in which they put their confidence. Those who will not be reasoned out of their sins, sooner or later shall be frightened out of them. Covetous men make money their god; but the time will come when they will feel it as much their burden. This whole passage may be applied to the case of an awakened sinner, ready to leave all that his soul may be saved. The Jews were prone to rely on their heathen neighbours; but they are here called upon to cease from depending on mortal man. We are all prone to the same sin. Then let not man be your fear, let not him be your hope; but let your hope be in the Lord your God. Let us make this our great concern.And upon all the high mountains - Judea abounded in lofty mountains, which added much to the grandeur of its natural scenery. Lowth supposes that by mountains and hills are meant here, 'kingdoms, republics, states, cities;' but there are probably no parallel places where they have this meaning. The meaning is probably this: high mountains and hills would not only be objects of beauty or grandeur, but also places of defense, and protection. In the caverns and fastnesses of such hills, it would be easy for the people to find refuge when the land was invaded. The meaning of the prophet then is, that the day of God's vengeance should be upon the places of refuge and strength; the strongly fortified places, or places of sure retreat in cases of invasion; compare the notes at Isaiah 2:19.

Hills that are lifted up - That is, high, elevated hills.

14. high … hills—referring to the "high places" on which sacrifices were unlawfully offered, even in Uzziah's (equivalent to Azariah) reign (2Ki 15:4). Also, places of strength, fastnesses in which they trusted, rather than in God; so To which men used to betake themselves in times of war and danger. It is usual with the prophets to describe God’s judgments upon men by the shaking and smoking of the mountains, the trembling of the earth, and the like. And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up. By which may be meant either kingdoms and cities belonging to the Roman jurisdiction, or churches and monasteries, and such like religious houses, and the dissolution of them. See Revelation 16:20. And upon all the high {t} mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,

(t) By high trees and mountains are he means the proud and lofty, who think themselves most strong in this world.

Verse 14. - Mountains... hills. It is Sennacherib's boast that he "came up to the height of the mountains" (Isaiah 37:24). In Isaiah 2:7, Isaiah 2:8 he describes still further how the land of the people of Jehovah, in consequence of all this (on the future consec. see Ges. 129, 2, a), was crammed full of objects of luxury, of self-confidence, of estrangement from God: "And their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end of their treasures; and their land is filled with horses, and there is no end of their chariots. And their land is filled with - idols; the work of their own hands they worship, that which their own fingers have made." The glory of Solomon, which revived under Uzziah's fifty-two years' reign, and was sustained through Jotham's reign of sixteen years, carried with it the curse of the law; for the law of the king, in Deuteronomy 17:14., prohibited the multiplying of horses, and also the accumulation of gold and silver. Standing armies, and stores of national treasures, like everything else which ministers to carnal self-reliance, were opposed to the spirit of the theocracy. Nevertheless Judaea was immeasurably full of such seductions to apostasy; and not of those alone, but also of things which plainly revealed it, viz., of elilim, idols (the same word is used in Leviticus 19:4; Leviticus 26:1, from elil, vain or worthless; it is therefore equivalent to "not-gods"). They worshipped the work of "their own" hands, what "their own" fingers had made: two distributive singulars, as in Isaiah 5:23, the hands and fingers of every individual (vid., Micah 5:12-13, where the idols are classified). The condition of the land, therefore, was not only opposed to the law of the king, but at variance with the decalogue also. The existing glory was the most offensive caricature of the glory promised to the nation; for the people, whose God was one day to become the desire and salvation of all nations, had exchanged Him for the idols of the nations, and was vying with them in the appropriation of heathen religion and customs.
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