They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They shall not drink wine with a song . . .—Literally, in their song they drink no wine; i.e., the music of the feasts (Amos 6:5) should cease, and if they sang at all it should be a chant of lamentation (Amos 8:10). The very appetite for “strong drink” (probably the palm-wine of the East) should pass away, and it would be bitter as the wine of gall (Deuteronomy 32:33).
Strong drink - On the word שׁכר shêkār see the note at Isaiah 5:11.
strong drink—(See on Isa 5:11). "Date wine" [Horsley].
bitter—in consequence of the national calamities.Amos 6:5,
strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it; they shall have no gust for it, or relish of it, as they formerly had; either through bodily diseases upon themselves, or because of the calamities upon the nations and states in which they dwell: this will be the case of her that says, "I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow", Revelation 18:7.They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 9. - They shall not drink wine with a song. Men will still drink; they will seek to drown their care in wine; but they will not have the heart to attempt a song as they drink. Even in their cups they will be silent. Strong drink shall be bitter. By "strong drink" (shekar) seems to be meant any intoxicating liquor whatever, including wine. Many such liquors were drunk in Palestine (see 'Dict. of the Bible,' vol. 1. pp. 458, 459). All were more or less pleasant to the taste; but they would taste bitter to those who were warped and soured by the calamities of the time, which would prevent all enjoyment. Isaiah 19:1, places us at once in the very midst of the catastrophe, and condenses the contents of the subsequent picture of judgment into a few rapid, vigorous, vivid, and comprehensive clauses (like Isaiah 15:1; Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 23:1, cf., Isaiah 33:1). "Behold, Jehovah emptieth the earth, and layeth it waste, and marreth its form, and scattereth its inhabitants. And it happeneth, as to the people, so to the priest; as to the servant, so to his master; as to the maid, so to her mistress; as to the buyer, so to the seller; as to the lender, so to the borrower; as to the creditor, so to the debtor. Emptying the earth is emptied, and plundering is plundered: for Jehovah hat spoken this word." The question, whether the prophet is speaking of a past of future judgment, which is one of importance to the interpretation of the whole, is answered by the fact that with Isaiah "hinnēh" (behold) always refers to something future (Isaiah 3:1; Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 30:27, etc.). And it is only in his case, that we do meet with prophecies commencing so immediately with hinnēh. Those in Jeremiah which approach this the most nearly (viz., Jeremiah 47:2; Jeremiah 49:35, cf., Isaiah 51:1, and Ezekiel 29:3) do indeed commence with hinnēh, but not without being preceded by an introductory formula. The opening "behold" corresponds to the confirmatory "for Jehovah hath spoken," which is always employed by Isaiah at the close of statements with regard to the future and occurs chiefly,
though not exclusively,
in the book of Isaiah, whom we may recognise in the detailed description in Isaiah 24:2 (vid., Isaiah 2:12-16; Isaiah 3:2-3, Isaiah 3:18-23, as compared with Isaiah 9:13; also with the description of judgment in Isaiah 19:2-4, which closes in a similar manner). Thus at the very outset we meet with Isaiah's peculiarities; and Caspari is right in saying that no prophecy could possibly commence with more of the characteristics of Isaiah than the prophecy before us. The play upon words commences at the very outset. Bâkak and bâlak (compare the Arabic ballūka, a blank, naked desert) have the same ring, just as in Nahum 2:11, cf., Isaiah 24:3, and Jeremiah 51:2. The niphal futures are intentionally written like verbs Pe-Vâv (tibbōk and tibbōz, instead of tibbak and tibbaz), for the purpose of making them rhyme with the infinitive absolutes (cf., Isaiah 22:13). So, again, caggebirtâh is so written instead of cigbirtâh, to produce a greater resemblance to the opening syllable of the other words. The form נשׁה is interchanged with נשׁא) (as in 1 Samuel 22:2), or, according to Kimchi's way of writing it, with נשׁא) (written with tzere), just as in other passages we meet with נשׁא along with נשׁה, and, judging from Arab. ns', to postpone or credit, the former is the primary form. Nōsheh is the creditor, and בו נשׁא אשׁר is not the person who has borrowed of him, but, as נשה invariably signifies to credit (hiphil, to give credit), the person whom he credits (with ב obj., like בּ נגשׂ in Isaiah 9:3), not "the person through whom he is נשׁא)" (Hitzig on Jeremiah 15:10). Hence, "lender and borrower, creditor and debtor" (or taker of credit). It is a judgment which embraces all, without distinction of rank and condition; and it is a universal one, not merely throughout the whole of the land of Israel (as even Drechsler renders הארץ), but in all the earth; for as Arndt correctly observes, הארץ signifies "the earth" in this passage, including, as in Isaiah 11:4, the ethical New Testament idea of "the world" (kosmos).
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