Isaiah 23:9
The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.
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(9) The Lord of hosts hath purposed . . .—This is the prophet’s answer. The kings of Assyria were but instruments in the hand of Jehovah Sabaoth, working out what He had planned.

To stain the pride . . .—The primary meaning of the verb is to pollute or desecrate, possibly in reference to the destruction of the temples of Tyre, such e.g. as that of Melkarth, which was reported to be one of the most ancient in the world.

23:1-14 Tyre was the mart of the nations. She was noted for mirth and diversions; and this made her loth to consider the warnings God gave by his servants. Her merchants were princes, and lived like princes. Tyre being destroyed and laid waste, the merchants should abandon her. Flee to shift for thine own safety; but those that are uneasy in one place, will be so in another; for when God's judgments pursue sinners, they will overtake them. Whence shall all this trouble come? It is a destruction from the Almighty. God designed to convince men of the vanity and uncertainty of all earthly glory. Let the ruin of Tyre warn all places and persons to take heed of pride; for he who exalts himself shall be abased. God will do it, who has all power in his hand; but the Chaldeans shall be the instruments.The Lord of hosts hath purposed it - (see the note at Isaiah 1:9). It is not by human counsel that it has been done. Whoever is the instrument, yet the overthrow of wicked, proud, and vicious cities and nations is to be traced to the God who rules in the empires and kingdoms of the earth (see the notes at Isaiah 10:5-7).

To stain, the pride of all glory - Margin, 'Pollute.' The Hebrew word (חלל chalēl) means properly to bore, or pierce through; to open, make common Leviticus 19:29; then to profane, defile, pollute, as, e. g., the sanctuary Leviticus 19:8; Leviticus 21:9, the Sabbath Exodus 31:14, the name of God Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 19:12. Here it means that the destruction of Tyre would show that God could easily level it all with the dust. The destruction of Tyre would show this in reference to all human glory, because:

(1) it was one of the most ancient cities;

(2) it was one of the most magnificent;

(3) it was one: of the most strong, secure, and inaccessible;

(4) it was the one of most commercial importante, most distinguished in the view of nations; and

(5) its example would be the most striking and impressive.

God often selects the most distinguished and important cities and people to make them examples to others, and to show the ease with which he can bring all down to the earth.

To bring into contempt ... - To bring their plans and purposes into contempt, and to show how unimportant and how foolish are their schemes in the sight of a holy God.

9. Whoever be the instruments in overthrowing haughty sinners, God, who has all hosts at His command, is the First Cause (Isa 10:5-7).

stain—rather, "to profane"; as in Ex 31:14, the Sabbath, and other objects of religious reverence; so here, "the pride of all glory" may refer to the Tyrian temple of Hercules, the oldest in the world, according to Arrian (Isa 2:16); the prophet of the true God would naturally single out for notice the idol of Tyre [G. V. Smith]. It may, however, be a general proposition; the destruction of Tyre will exhibit to all how God mars the luster of whatever is haughty (Isa 2:11).

The Lord of hosts hath purposed it; this is the Lord’s own doing; therefore do not doubt it, nor wonder at it. God’s design is by this one example to abate and abase the pride of all the potentates of the earth, that they may see and know what weak and wretched creatures they are, when God leaves them, and sets himself against them. The Lord of hosts hath purposed it,.... To destroy Tyre; who is wonderful in counsel, capable of forming a wise scheme, and able to put it in execution; being the Lord of armies in heaven and in earth: and his end in it was,

to stain the pride of all glory; Tyre being proud of its riches, the extent of its commerce, and the multitude of its inhabitants, God was resolved, who sets himself against the proud, to abase them; to pollute the glorious things they were proud of; to deal with them as with polluted things; to trample upon them:

and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth: or, "to make light all the heavy ones of the earth" (d); all such, who are top heavy with riches and honour, God can, and sometimes does, make as light as feathers, which the wind carries away, and they fall into contempt and disgrace with their fellow creatures; and the Lord's thus dealing with Tyre was not merely on their account, to stain their pride and glory, and disgrace their honourable ones; but for the sake of others also, that the great ones of the earth might see and learn, by this instance of Tyre, how displeasing to the Lord is the sin of pride; what a poor, vain, and perishing thing, worldly honour and glory is; and what poor, weak, feeble creatures, the princes and potentates of the earth are, when the Lord takes them in hand.

(d) .

The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.
9. Jehovah has purposed it in accordance with a fixed principle of His government.

to stain (render to desecrate) the pride of all glory] The thought is the same as in ch. Isaiah 2:12 ff. For this use of the verb “desecrate,” cf. Ezekiel 28:7.Verse 9. - The Lord of hosts hath purposed it; rather, hath counseled it. The word is the same as that used in the opening clause of ver. 8. God has conceived the thought of destroying Tyre, for the reasons which the prophet proceeds to specify:

1. To stain the pride of all glory; or, of all beauty. Not that "glory" or "beauty" are displeasing to him, or provoke his envy, as the heathen thought (Herod., 7:10, § 4) but that those who "pride" themselves on their glory and beauty offend him.

2. To bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth; i.e. to render contemptible those whom the world honors, though they do not deserve honor. "Be alarmed, ye inhabitants of the coast! Sidonian merchants, sailing over the sea, filled thee once. And the sowing of Sichor came upon great waters, the harvest of the Nile, her store; and she became gain for nations." The suffixes of מלּא (to fill with wares and riches) and תּבוּאה (the bringing in, viz., into barns and granaries) refer to the word אי, which is used here as a feminine for the name of a country, and denotes the Phoenician coast, including the insular Tyre. "Sidonian merchants" are the Phoenicians generally, as in Homer; for the "great Sidon" of antiquity (Zidon rabbâh, Joshua 11:8; Joshua 19:28) was the mother-city of Phoenicia, which so thoroughly stamped its name upon the whole nation, that Tyre is called צדנם אם upon Phoenician coins. The meaning of Isaiah 23:3 is not that the revenue of Tyre which accrued to it on the great unfruitful sea, was like a Nile-sowing, or an Egyptian harvest (Hitzig, Knobel). Such a simile would be a very beautiful one, but it is a very unlikely one, since the Phoenicians actually did buy up the corn-stores of Egypt, that granary of the ancient world, and housed the cargoes that were brought to them "upon great waters," i.e., on the great Mediterranean. Sichor is a Hebraic form of Siris (the native name of the upper Nile, according to Dionysius Perieg. and Pliny). It signifies the black river (Meals, Eust. on Dion. Per. 222), the black slime of which gave such fertility to the land. "The harvest of the Nile" is not so much an explanation as an amplification. The valley of the Nile was the field for sowing and reaping, and the Phoenician coast was the barn for this valuable corn; and inasmuch as corn and other articles of trade were purchased and bartered there, it thereby became gain (constr. of sachar, Ewald, 213, a, used in the same sense as in Isaiah 18:1-7, Isaiah 45:14, and Proverbs 3:14), i.e., the means of gain, the source of profit or provision, to whole nations, and even to many such. Others render the word "emporium;" but sâchâr cannot have this meaning. Moreover, foreigners did not come to Phoenicia, but the Phoenicians went to them (Luzzatto).
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