Now therefore be you not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined on the whole earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Now therefore be ye not mockers . . .—The rulers are warned that the scorn in which they indulge so freely will only make the fetters which already gall them tighter and heavier. In the words that follow the prophet reproduces his own language in Isaiah 10:23 (where see Notes), probably because they had been singled out as a special subject for derision.Isaiah 28:22. Now therefore be not mockers — For your own sakes do not make a mock of God’s word and threatenings, as you use to do. Lest your bands be made strong — Lest thereby you make the judgments of God, which are often compared to bands, more sure and unavoidable, and more severe and terrible, as bands are when they are tied faster and more strongly upon a prisoner. For I have heard from the Lord a consumption, &c. — God hath assured me that he will utterly root out the people of Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes; as indeed he did in Hezekiah’s reign, and the Jews, the kingdom of the two tribes, in the reign of Zedekiah.
Be ye not mockers - This was the prevailing sin Isaiah 28:9-14, and on account of this sin in part the judgment of God was about to come upon the guilty nation.
Lest your bands be made strong - Lest your confinement should be more severe and protracted. God would punish them according to their sins, and if they now ceased to mock and deride him it would greatly mitigate the severity of their punishment (compare Isaiah 24:22).
For I have heard ... - I, the prophet, have heard Yahweh of hosts threaten a consumption.
A consumption ... - (see this phrase explained in the note at Isaiah 10:23)
Upon the whole earth - The whole land of Judea (see the note at Isaiah 24:1).
bands—their Assyrian bondage (Isa 10:27); Judah was then tributary to Assyria; or, "lest your punishment be made still more severe" (Isa 24:22).
consumption—destruction (Isa 10:22, 23; Da 9:27).Be ye not mockers; for your own sakes do not make a mock of God’s word and threatenings, as you use to do.
Lest your bands be made strong; lest thereby you make the judgments of God, which are oft compared to bands, as Psalm 66:11 73:4, and elsewhere, more sure and unavoidable, and more severe and terrible, as bands are when they are tied faster and more strongly upon a prisoner.
I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth; God hath assured me that he will utterly root out and destroy the people of Israel; as indeed he did in Hezekiah’s reign. 2 Chronicles 36:16 and also by the Romans; see Acts 13:41,
lest your bands be made strong; punishment become heavier, and more grievous; and so the Syriac version renders it; as prisoners that attempt to make their escape have their bonds and fetters made faster, and so are put to more pain and distress; to which the allusion seems to be, signifying, that by scoffing and mocking at the word of God they would bring upon themselves greater and sorer punishments, Hebrews 10:29,
for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts; in a vision from him, by a spirit of prophecy, as a secret communicated by him; for whatever the Lord did he usually made it known to his prophets; and it might be depended upon what they said, as being what the Lord had declared in their hearing; see Amos 3:7,
a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth: or, "on the whole land", the land of Judea; for this destruction seems only to respect that; and is the same with "the consummation, and that determined", that should be "poured upon the desolate", Daniel 9:27 which manifestly designs the destruction of the Jews by the Romans, which was an affair determined by the Lord, whose counsel shall stand, and therefore would surely come to pass.Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. A final appeal to the “scoffers” (Isaiah 28:14), based on the irreversible decision of Jehovah.
be ye not mockers] do not play the scoffer.
lest your bands be made strong] i.e. “lest ye be firmly bound and delivered up for execution.”
a consumption, even determined] an extermination and a decisive work (as ch. Isaiah 10:23).Verse 22. - Be ye not mockers. As they had shown themselves previously (vers. 9, 10). Lest your bands be made strong; or, lest your fetters grow strong. The prophet views Judah as still, to some extent, an Assyrian dependency, held in light bonds; and warns his countrymen that an attempt to break the light bonds may result in Assyria's making them stronger and heavier. A consumption... determined upon the whole earth; rather, a consummation (comp. Isaiah 10:22, 23). Isaiah 28:16 it is resumed again, the exposition of the sin being inserted between, before the punishment is declared. Their sin is lâtsōn, and this free-thinking scorn rests upon a proud and insolent self-confidence, which imagines that there is no necessity to fear death and hell; and this self-confidence has for its secret reserve the alliance to be secretly entered into with Egypt against Assyria. What the prophet makes them say here, they do not indeed say exactly in this form; but this is the essential substance of the carnally devised thoughts and words of the rulers of the people of Jerusalem, as manifest to the Searcher of hearts. Jerusalem, the city of Jehovah, and such princes as these, who either proudly ignore Jehovah, or throw Him off as useless, what a contrast! Chōzeh, and châzūth in Isaiah 28:18, signify an agreement, either as a decision or completion (from the radical meaning of the verb châzâh), or as a choice, beneplacitum (like the Arabic ray), or as a record, i.e., the means of selecting (like the talmudic châzı̄th, a countersign, a ra'ăyâh, a proof or argument: Luzzatto). In shōt shōtēph ("the swelling scourge," chethib שׁיט), the comparison of Asshur to a flood (Isaiah 28:2, Isaiah 28:8, Isaiah 28:7), and the comparison of it to a whip or scourge, are mixed together; and this is all the more allowable, because a whip, when smacked, really does move in waving lines (compare Jeremiah 8:6, where shâtaph is applied to the galloping of a war-horse). The chethib עבר in Isaiah 28:15 (for which the keri reads יעבר, according to Isaiah 28:19) is to be read עבר (granting that it shall have passed, or that it passes); and there is no necessity for any emendation. The Egyptian alliance for which they are suing, when designated according to its true ethical nature, is sheqer (lie) and kâzâb (falsehood); compare 2 Kings 17:4 (where we ought perhaps to read sheqer for qesher, according to the lxx), and more especially Ezekiel 17:15., from which it is obvious that the true prophets regarded self-willed rebellion even against heathen rule as a reprehensible breach of faith.
The lâkhēn (therefore), which is resumed in Isaiah 28:16, is apparently followed as strangely as in Isaiah 7:14, by a promise instead of a threat. But this is only apparently the case. It is unquestionably a promise; but as the last clause, "he that believeth will not flee," i.e., will stand firm, clearly indicates, it is a promise for believers alone. For those to whom the prophet is speaking here the promise is a threat, a savour of death unto death. Just as on a former occasion, when Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, the prophet announced to him a sign of Jehovah's own selection; so here Jehovah opposes to the false ground of confidence on which the leaders relied, the foundation stone laid in Zion, which would bear the believing in immoveable safety, but on which the unbelieving would be broken to pieces (Matthew 21:44). This stone is called 'ebhen boochan, a stone of proving, i.e., a proved and self-proving stone. Then follow other epithets in a series commencing anew with pinnath equals 'ebhen pinnath (compare Psalm 118:22): angulus h. e. lapis angularis pretiositatis fundationis fundatae. It is a corner-stone, valuable in itself (on yiqrath, compare 1 Kings 5:17), and affording the strongest foundation and inviolable security to all that is built upon it (mūsâd a substantive in form like mūsâr, and mūssâd a hophal participle in the form of those of the verba contracta pe yod). This stone was not the Davidic sovereignty, but the true seed of David which appeared in Jesus (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:6-7). The figure of a stone is not opposed to the personal reference, since the prophet in Isaiah 8:14 speaks even of Jehovah Himself under the figure of a stone. The majestically unique description renders it quite impossible that Hezekiah can be intended. Micah, whose book forms the side piece of this cycle of prophecy, also predicted, under similar historical circumstances, the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem Ephratah (Micah 5:1). What Micah expresses in the words, "His goings forth are from of old," is indicated here in the preterite yissad connected with hineni (the construction is similar to that in Obadiah 1:2; Ezekiel 25:7; compare Isaiah 28:2 above, and Jeremiah 49:15; Jeremiah 23:19). It denotes that which has been determined by Jehovah, and therefore is as good as accomplished. What is historically realized has had an eternal existence, and indeed an ideal pre-existence even in the heart of history itself (Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 25:1; Isaiah 37:26). Ever since there had been a Davidic government at all, this stone had lain in Zion. The Davidic monarchy not only had in this its culminating point, but the ground of its continuance also. It was not only the Omega, but also the Alpha. Whatever escaped from wrath, even under the Old Testament, stood upon this stone. This (as the prophet predicts in יסהישׁ לא המּאמין יחישׁ׃ the fut. kal) would be the stronghold of faith in the midst of the approaching Assyrian calamities (cf., Isaiah 7:9); and faith would be the condition of life (Habakkuk 2:4). But against unbelievers Jehovah would proceed according to His punitive justice. He would make this (justice and righteousness, mishpât and tsedâqâh) a norm, i.e., a line and level. A different turn, however, is given to qâv, with a play upon Isaiah 28:10, Isaiah 28:11. What Jehovah is about to do is depicted as a building which He is carrying out, and which He will carry out, so far as the despisers are concerned, on no other plan than that of strict retribution. His punitive justice comes like a hailstorm and like a flood (cf., Isaiah 28:2; Isaiah 10:22). The hail smites the refuge of lies of the great men of Jerusalem, and clears it away (יעה, hence יע, a shovel); and the flood buries their hiding-place in the waters, and carries it away (the accentuation should be סתר tifchah, מים mercha).
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