Isaiah 2:8
Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBWESTSK
(8) Their land also is full of idols.—The word which Isaiah chooses for “idols” (elîlîmi.e., vain, false, gods) seems intentionally contrasted with elîm (gods, or mighty ones), and may fairly be rendered by no-gods. The reign of Ahaz was conspicuous from the first for this cultus (2Chronicles 28:2-3), but it had been prominent even under Jotham (2Chronicles 27:2).

Isaiah 2:8-9. Their land also is full of idols — Every city had its god, (Jeremiah 11:13,) and, according to the goodness and fertility of their lands, they made goodly images, Hosea 10:1. They worship the work of their own hands — They gave that worship to their own creatures, to the images which their own fancies had devised, and their own fingers had made, which they denied to JEHOVAH their Creator, than which nothing could be more impious or more absurd. And the mean man boweth down, &c. — Men of all ranks, both high and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, fall down and worship idols. The corruption is universal, and the whole land is given to idolatry. Therefore forgive them not — Thou wilt not forgive them, the imperative being put for the future, as we have seen it frequently is in the Psalms. Vitringa, however, Dr. Waterland, and Bishop Lowth, with many others, consider this verse, not as describing their idolatry, but as a predicting the punishment which God was about to bring upon them for it; and therefore translate it, in perfect consistency with the Hebrew, in the future tense, thus: Therefore the mean man shall be bowed down, and the mighty man shall be humbled; and thou wilt not forgive them. “They bowed themselves down to their idols, therefore shall they be bowed down, and brought low, under the avenging hand of God.” — Bishop Lowth. According to this interpretation, “the prophet begins here to describe the imminent severe judgments of God, wherewith he would punish the pride of these men, and their alienation from the true worship of God and their disobedience to his law.”2:1-9 The calling of the Gentiles, the spread of the gospel, and that far more extensive preaching of it yet to come, are foretold. Let Christians strengthen one another, and support one another. It is God who teaches his people, by his word and Spirit. Christ promotes peace, as well as holiness. If all men were real Christians, there could be no war; but nothing answering to these expressions has yet taken place on the earth. Whatever others do, let us walk in the light of this peace. Let us remember that when true religion flourishes, men delight in going up to the house of the Lord, and in urging others to accompany them. Those are in danger who please themselves with strangers to God; for we soon learn to follow the ways of persons whose company we keep. It is not having silver and gold, horses and chariots, that displeases God, but depending upon them, as if we could not be safe, and easy, and happy without them, and could not but be so with them. Sin is a disgrace to the poorest and the lowest. And though lands called Christian are not full of idols, in the literal sense, are they not full of idolized riches? and are not men so busy about their gains and indulgences, that the Lord, his truths, and precepts, are forgotten or despised?Their land also is full of idols - compare Hosea 8:4; Hosea 10:1. Vitringa supposes that Isaiah here refers to idols that were kept in private houses, as Uzziah and Jotham were worshippers of the true God, and in their reign idolatry was not publicly practiced. It is certain, however, that though Uzziah himself did right, and was disposed to worship the true God, yet he did not effectually remove idolatry from the land. The high places were not removed, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on them; 2 Kings 15:4. It was customary with the pagan to keep in their houses "Penates or household gods" - small images, which they regarded as "protectors," and to which they paid homage: compare Genesis 30:19; Judges 17:5; 1 Samuel 19:13; Hosea 3:4. 'This is a true and literal description of India. The traveler cannot proceed a "mile" through an inhabited country without seeing idols, and vestiges of idolatry in every direction. See their vessles, their implements of husbandry, their houses, their furniture, their ornaments, their sacred trees, their "domestic" and public temples; and they all declare that the land is full of idols.' - "Roberts."

The work of their own hands ... - Idols. It is often brought as proof of their great folly and degradation that they paid homage to what "they" had themselves made. See this severely satirized in Isaiah 40:18-20; Isaiah 41:6-7; Isaiah 44:9-17.

8. (Ho 8:4). Not so much public idolatry, which was not sanctioned in Uzziah's and Jotham's reign, but (see 2Ki 15:4, 35) as private. They give that worship to their own creatures which they deny to me their Creator, than which nothing can be more impious and absurd. Their land also is full of idols,.... Of the Virgin Mary, and of saints departed, whose images are set up to be worshipped in all their churches, and had in private houses:

and they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made; namely, idols of gold, silver, brass, wood, and stone, Revelation 9:20.

Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:
8. idols] Lit. “nonentities.”—The word (’ělîlîm) is almost peculiar to Isaiah; and appears to contain a scornful play on the word for “gods” (’êlîm). work of their own hands] The prophet refuses to distinguish, as a heathen might, between the false deity and his image; the latter alone has real existence. Cf. Hosea 13:2; Isaiah 40:19 f., Isaiah 41:7; Isaiah 44:12-20, &c.Verse 8. - Full of idols. The historians declare that both Uzziah and Jotham maintained the worship of Jehovah and disallowed idolatry (2 Kings 15:3, 34; 2 Chronicles 26:4; 2 Chronicles 27:2), so that we must regard the idol-worship of the time as an irregular and private practice. (It is, perhaps, alluded to in 2 Chronicles 27:2; and the fact of its prevalence is stated in Amos 2:1; Micah 5:13.) Perhaps Bishop Lowth is right in regarding it as mainly a continuation of the old private teraphim worship ('Notes,' p. 25). The subject of the borrowed prophecy is Israel's future glory: "And it cometh to pass at the end of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah will be set at the top of the mountains, and exalted over hills; and all nations pour unto it." The expression "the last days" (acharith hayyamim, "the end of the days"), which does not occur anywhere else in Isaiah, is always used in an eschatological sense. It never refers to the course of history immediately following the time being, but invariably indicates the furthest point in the history of this life - the point which lies on the outermost limits of the speaker's horizon. This horizon was a very fluctuating one. The history of prophecy is just the history of its gradual extension, and of the filling up of the intermediate space. In Jacob's blessing (Genesis 49) the conquest of the land stood in the foreground of the acharith or last days, and the perspective was regulated accordingly. But here in Isaiah the acharith contained no such mixing together of events belonging to the more immediate and the most distant future. It was therefore the last time in its most literal and purest sense, commencing with the beginning of the New Testament aeon, and terminating at its close (compare Hebrews 1:1; 1 Peter 1:20, with 1 Corinthians 15 and the Revelation). The prophet here predicted that the mountain which bore the temple of Jehovah, and therefore was already in dignity the most exalted of all mountains, would. one day tower in actual height above all the high places of the earth. The basaltic mountains of Bashan, which rose up in bold peaks and columns, might now look down with scorn and contempt upon the small limestone hill which Jehovah had chosen (Psalm 68:16-17); but this was an incongruity which the last times would remove, by making the outward correspond to the inward, the appearance to the reality and the intrinsic worth. That this is the prophet's meaning is confirmed by Ezekiel 40:2, where the temple mountain looks gigantic to the prophet, and also by Zechariah 14:10, where all Jerusalem is described as towering above the country round about, which would one day become a plain. The question how this can possibly take place in time, since it presupposes a complete subversion of the whole of the existing order of the earth's surface, is easily answered. The prophet saw the new Jerusalem of the last days on this side, and the new Jerusalem of the new earth on the other (Revelation 21:10), blended as it were together, and did not distinguish the one from the other. But whilst we thus avoid all unwarrantable spiritualizing, it still remains a question what meaning the prophet attached to the word b'rosh ("at the top"). Did he mean that Moriah would one day stand upon the top of the mountains that surrounded it (as in Psalm 72:16), or that it would stand at their head (as in 1 Kings 21:9, 1 Kings 21:12; Amos 6:7; Jeremiah 31:7)? The former is Hofmann's view, as given in his Weissagung und Erfllung, ii.:217: "he did not indeed mean that the mountains would be piled up one upon the other, and the temple mountain upon the top, but that the temple mountain would appear to float upon the summit of the others." But as the expression "will be set" (nacon) does not favour this apparently romantic exaltation, and b'rosh occurs more frequently in the sense of "at the head" than in that of "on the top," I decide for my own part in favour of the second view, though I agree so far with Hofmann, that it is not merely an exaltation of the temple mountain in the estimation of the nations that is predicted, but a physical and external elevation also. And when thus outwardly exalted, the divinely chosen mountain would become the rendezvous and centre of unity for all nations. They would all "flow unto it" (nâhar, a denom. verb, from nâhâr, a river, as in Jeremiah 51:44; Jeremiah 31:12). It is the temple of Jehovah which, being thus rendered visible to nations afar off, exerts such magnetic attraction, and with such success. Just as at a former period men had been separated and estranged from one another in the plain of Shinar, and thus different nations had first arisen; so would the nations at a future period assemble together on the mountain of the house of Jehovah, and there, as members of one family, live together in amity again. And as Babel (confusion, as its name signifies) was the place whence the stream of nations poured into all the world; so would Jerusalem (the city of peace) become the place into which the stream of nations would empty itself, and where all would be reunited once more. At the present time there was only one people, viz., Israel, which made pilgrimages to Zion on the great festivals, but it would be very different then.
Isaiah 2:8 Interlinear
Isaiah 2:8 Parallel Texts

Isaiah 2:8 NIV
Isaiah 2:8 NLT
Isaiah 2:8 ESV
Isaiah 2:8 NASB
Isaiah 2:8 KJV

Isaiah 2:8 Bible Apps
Isaiah 2:8 Parallel
Isaiah 2:8 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 2:8 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 2:8 French Bible
Isaiah 2:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Isaiah 2:7
Top of Page
Top of Page