The way of the just is uprightness: you, most upright, do weigh the path of the just.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The way of the just is uprightness.—The English version seems somewhat tautologous. Better, is straight, or is even—i.e., leads on without interruption to its appointed end. So, in the second clause, instead of “thou shalt weigh the path,” which conveys a not very intelligible thought, we render, makest smooth the path. Probably, too, the word translated, “most upright,” as if it were a vocative, should be taken adverbially. The verse is, as it were, an echo of Proverbs 4:26; Proverbs 5:6; Proverbs 5:21.Isaiah 26:7. The way of the just is uprightness — Hebrew, מישׁרים, righteousness. The just proceed steadily on in the practice of the various duties of righteousness, which they owe to God and man; or, their way is evenness, or plainness, as the word may be rendered. It is their constant care and endeavour to walk with God in an even, steady course of obedience and holy conversation. Bishop Lowth translates the clause, the way of the righteous is perfectly straight, not crooked, involved, and intricate, like that of the wicked. Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just — Dost mark and consider it, and observe the various difficulties and dangers that will occur in it, and wilt give them grace sufficient for them; or, thou dost examine it. Thou, who art most upright in all thy ways, and therefore a lover of uprightness, and of all upright men, dost weigh, dost narrowly observe and ponder, the path of the just; the whole course of their actions, and, which is implied, dost approve of them, and direct them to a happy issue. This seems to be the most common meaning of the word פלס, here rendered to weigh: see Proverbs 4:26; Proverbs 5:21. It bears, however, another sense, Psalm 78:50, namely, to make the way plain, or, to remove obstructions out of it. In this sense Bishop Lowth understands it here, and therefore translates the clause, thou most exactly levellest the path of the righteous. While the way of the wicked is perplexed, and rugged, and full of obstructions, God makes the way of the righteous plain and easy before them, by preventing or removing those things that would be stumbling-blocks to them, so that they walk safely and comfortably forward in the path of duty.Proverbs 23:31; Sol 7:10; of sincerity, or uprightness Sol 1:4; or of righteousness as a judge Psa 9:9; Psalm 58:2; Psalm 99:4.
Thou most upright - Evidently an address to God, as being most just, and as having now evinced his uprightness in the deliverance of his people. The same epithet is applied to him in Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 25:8; Psalm 92:16.
Dost weigh the path of the just - The word used here (פלס pâlac) may mean to weigh as in a balance Psalm 58:3; but it may also mean, and does usually, to make straight or smooth; to beat a path; to make level Psalm 78:50; Proverbs 4:26; Proverbs 5:21. Here it probably means, that God had made the way smooth, or exactly level. He had removed all obstacles, and had conducted his people in a plain and leveled way (see the notes at Isaiah 40:3-4).
most upright—(De 32:4).
dost weigh—(1Sa 2:3; Pr 5:21). Rather, "thou dost make plain and level" [Maurer], removing all obstacles (Isa 40:3, 4).Is uprightness; or, most even or plain. Heb. evenness or plainness. Which is understood either,
1. Of the rectitude or goodness of his actions or course; or rather,
2. Of the good success of his affairs; for this suits best with the coherence. When the way of the wicked is rugged, in which they easily stumble and fall into mischief, of which he spoke, Isaiah 26:5,6, the path of just men is plain and smooth, and they walk safely and comfortably in it.
Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just: the sense of the words thus rendered is, Thou, O God, who art most upright in all thy ways, and therefore a lover of uprightness. and of all upright men, dost weigh (i.e. examine) the path of the just, the course of his actions, and, which is implied, dost approve of them, and therefore direct them to a happy issue. But the words are otherwise rendered by some late learned interpreters, to this purpose, Thou dost level or make plain (as this very word signifies, Psalm 78:50) the path of the just exactly, Heb. with evenness, or evenly, so as to make it very even. Thus the first clause declares that it was even or plain, and this showeth whence or by whom it is made such, even by God. Isaiah 35:8 or, "the way" of the Lord "to the just is uprightnesses", or "evennesses"; most upright, or most even; there is no inequality in it, though sometimes so charged, Ezekiel 18:25 it is entirely agreeable to justice, equity, and truth; regular and even, and suited to all his perfections of wisdom, goodness, &c. (t):
thou most upright; these words are addressed to God, and contain an appellation and description of him, who is upright, just, and true, and loves upright and righteous persons; so Kimchi and Ben Melech take the word to be in the vocative case, and as an address to God; though some render them, "he is upright" (u); that is, the just man is upright, whose way is uprightness; but the former sense best agrees with what follows:
dost weigh the path of the just; observe, consider, and approve of it, as being according to rule, and agreeable to his mind and will, Psalm 1:6 or, "thou dost level" or "make even the path of the just" (w); remove all impediments and obstructions out of it, direct his goings, order his steps, and cause him to walk in a straight way, wherein he shall not stumble, Jeremiah 31:9 and so this is a reason given why the way of the just is even, because it is made so by the Lord himself.
(s) "via justo rectitudines", Vatablus. (t) For this note, I am indebted to my learned, pious, and ingenious friend, the Rev. Mr. Hervey; see Theron and Aspasio, vol 2. Dialog. 13. p. 225. Ed 3.((u) "rectus est", De Dieu. (w) "aequabis", Vatablus. So Ben Melech explains it by making a thing plain and even.The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. The verse should probably be read: The way of the righteous is straightness; the path of the righteous Thou directest straight. The “way” of the righteous is here not his inward life-purpose, but his outward lot. dost weigh] lit. “levellest”; as in Proverbs 4:26; Proverbs 5:6; Proverbs 5:21 (R.V.).
7, 8. That the way of the righteous is made straight by Jehovah, is a fundamental principle of religion (Proverbs 3:6; Proverbs 15:19, &c.), but the principle is upheld only by Jehovah moving in His own way of judgment; therefore the “righteous nation” has waited impatiently for His judicial interposition.Verse 7. - The way of the just is uprightness; or, the path for the just is straight. It is one of the main blessings of the righteous that God "makes their way straight before their face" (Psalm 4:8), "leads them in a plain path" (Psalm 27:11), "shows them the way they are to walk in" (Psalm 143:8), so that they are for the most part free from doubt and perplexity as to the line of conduct which it behooves them to, pursue. If this is so in the present life, still more will it be the uniform condition of the just in another sphere. Then God will of a surety "direct all their paths" (Proverbs 3:6). Thou, most upright, dost weigh; literally, O upright One, thou dost weigh. The term "upright" is applied to God in Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 25:8; and Psalm 92:16. By "weighing the path of the just" is meant keeping it, as Justice keeps her scales, straight and level. Proverbs 17:19, "a city of strong, i.e., of impregnable offence and defence." The subject of ישׁית is Jehovah. The figure indicates what He is constantly doing, and ever doing afresh; for the walls and bulwarks of Jerusalem (chēl, as in Lamentations 2:8, the small outside wall which encloses all the fortifications) are not dead stone, but yeshuâh, ever living and never exhausted salvation (Isaiah 60:18). In just the same sense Jehovah is called elsewhere the wall of Jerusalem, and even a wall of fire in Zechariah 2:9 - parallels which show that yeshuâh is intended to be taken as the accusative of the object, and not as the accusative of the predicate, according to Isaiah 5:6; Psalm 21:7; Psalm 84:7; Jeremiah 22:6 (Luzzatto).
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