Isaiah 23:9
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.
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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. Isaiah 23:9The inhabitants of Tyre, who desired to escape from death or transportation, are obliged to take refuge in the colonies, and the farther off the better: not in Cyprus, not in Carthage (as at the time when Alexander attacked the insular Tyre), but in Tartessus itself, the farthest off towards the west, and the hardest to reach. "Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the coast! Is this your fate, thou full of rejoicing, whose origin is from the days of the olden time, whom her feet carried far away to settle? Who hath determined such a thing concerning Tzor, the distributor of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the chief men of the earth? Jehovah of hosts hath determined it, to desecrate the pomp of every kind of ornament, to dishonour the chief men of the earth, all of them." The exclamation "howl ye" (hēillu) implies their right to give themselves up to their pain. In other cases complaint is unmanly, but here it is justifiable (compare Isaiah 15:4). In Isaiah 23:7 the question arises, whether ‛allizâh is a nominative predicate, as is generally assumed ("Is this, this deserted heap of ruins, your formerly rejoicing city?"), or a vocative. We prefer the latter, because there is nothing astonishing in the omission of the article in this case (Isaiah 22:2; Ewald, 327, a); whereas in the former case, although it is certainly admissible (see Isaiah 32:13), it is very harsh (compare Isaiah 14:16), and the whole expression a very doubtful one to convey the sense of לכם אשר עליזה קריה הזאת. To ‛allizâh there is attached the descriptive, attributive clause: whose origin (kadmâh, Ezekiel 16:55) dates from the days of the olden time; and then a second "whose feet brought her far away (raglaim construed as a masculine, as in Jeremiah 13:16, for example) to dwell in a foreign land. This is generally understood as signifying transportation by force into an enemy's country. But Luzzatto very properly objects to this, partly on the ground that רגליה יבלוּה (her feet carried her) is the strongest expression that can be used for voluntary emigration, to which lâgūr (to settle) also corresponds; and partly because we miss the antithetical ועתּה, which we should expect with this interpretation. The reference is to the trading journeys which extended "far away" (whether by land or sea), and to the colonies, i.e., the settlements founded in those distant places, that leading characteristic of the Tyro-Phoenician people (this is expressed in the imperfect by yobiluâh, quam portabant; gur is the most appropriate word to apply to such settlements: for mērâchōk, see at Isaiah 17:13). Sidon was no doubt older than Tyre, but Tyre was also of primeval antiquity. Strabo speaks of its as the oldest Phoenician city "after Sidon;" Curtius calls it vetustate originis insignis; and Josephus reckons the time from the founding of Tyre to the building of Solomon's temple as 240 years (Ant. viii. 3, 1; compare Herod. ii. 44). Tyre is called hammaēatirâh, not as wearing a crown (Vulg. quondam coronata), but as a distributor of crowns (Targum). Either would be suitable as a matter of fact; but the latter answers better to the hiphil (as hikrı̄n, hiphrı̄s, which are expressive of results produced from within outwards, can hardly be brought into comparison). Such colonies as Citium, Tartessus, and at first Carthage, were governed by kings appointed by the mother city, and dependent upon her. Her merchants were princes (compare Isaiah 10:8), the most honoured of the earth; נכבּדּי acquires a superlative meaning from the genitive connection (Ges. 119, 2). From the fact that the Phoenicians had the commerce of the world in their hands, a merchant was called cena‛ani or cena‛an (Hosea 12:8; from the latter, not from cin‛âni, the plural cin‛ânim which we find here is formed), and the merchandise cin‛âh. The verb chillēl, to desecrate or profane, in connection with the "pomp of every kind of ornament," leads us to think more especially of the holy places of both insular and continental Tyre, among which the temple of Melkarth in the new city of the former was the most prominent (according to the Arrian, Anab. ii. 16, παλαιότατον ὧν μνήμη ἀνθρωπίνη διασώζεται). These glories, which were thought so inviolable, Jehovah will profane. "To dishonour the chief men:" lehâkēl (ad ignominiam deducere, Vulg.) as in Isaiah 8:22.
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