Isaiah 29:6
Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
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(6) Thou shalt be visited . . .—Better, She (i.e., Jerusalem). The words may be figurative, but they may also be literal. Some terrific storm, acting as an “angel of the Lord” (Isaiah 37:36; Psalm 104:4), should burst at once upon Jerusalem and the hosts that were encamped against her, bringing to her safety, but to them destruction. As in the next verse, the “multitude of all nations” of the great host of Assyria should be as “a dream, a vision of the night.”

29:1-8 Ariel may signify the altar of burnt-offerings. Let Jerusalem know that outward religious services will not make men free from judgements. Hypocrites never can please God, nor make their peace with him. God had often and long, by a host of angels, encamped round about Jerusalem for protection and deliverance; but now he fought against it. Proud looks and proud language shall be brought down by humbling providences. The destruction of Jerusalem's enemies is foretold. The army of Sennacherib went as a dream; and thus the multitudes, that through successive ages fight against God's altar and worship, shall fall. Speedily will sinners awake from their soothing dreams in the pains of hell.Thou shalt be visited - This is an address to the mighty army of the Assyrian. Such transitions are not uncommon in the writings of Isaiah. His eye seems to have been directed in vision to the hosts of Sennacherib, and to their sudden dispersion and destruction Isaiah 29:5, and by a sudden, but not unnatural transition, he turns and addresses the army itself, with the assurance that it should be punished (compare Isaiah 30:30).

With thunder ... - The army of the Assyrian was cut off by an angel sent forth from God Isaiah 37:36. It is "possible" that all the agents here referred to may have been employed in the destruction of the Assyrian host, though they are not particularly specified in the history. But it is not absolutely. necessary to understand this verse in this manner. The image of thunder, earthquakes, and lightning, is an impressive representation of sudden and awful judgment in any manner. The sense is, that they should be suddenly destroyed by the direct visitation of God (see Isaiah 9:5; Isaiah 26:11).

And the flame of devouring fire - Lightning, that seems to "devour," or that suddenly consumes.

6. Thou—the Assyrian army.

thunder, &c.—not literally, in the case of the Assyrians (Isa 37:36); but figuratively for an awful judgment (Isa 30:30; 28:17). The ulterior fulfilment, in the case of the Jews' foes in the last days, may be more literal (see as to "earthquake," Zec 14:4).

Thou, O Ariel or Jerusalem, of or to whom this whole context manifestly speaks, shalt be visited with dreadful judgments, which are frequently expressed in the prophets by these and such-like metaphors.

Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise,.... That is, not the multitude of strangers and terrible ones, unless they could be understood of the wicked among the Jews; but thou Ariel, or Jerusalem, shalt be punished by the Lord of hosts; for this visitation or punishment was from him, for their sins and iniquities; the Romans were only the instruments he made use of, and the executioners of his vengeance; which was attended with thunder in the heavens, a shaking of the earth, and a great noise or voice heard in the temple, saying, let us depart hence; at which time comets were seen in the heavens, and chariots and armed men in the air, and one of the gates of the temple opened of itself (r): it is added,

with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire; with which the temple was burnt by the Roman army, when it came in like a storm and tempest, and carried all before it.

(r) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 5. sect. 5.

Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
6. See ch. Isaiah 30:27-33. The last words of Isaiah 29:5 should be read as part of this sentence. And suddenly, full suddenly, she shall be visited, &c. The word for “visit” is ambiguous, being freely used both of punishment and mercy, but the passive appears never to be employed in a good sense except here.

Verse 6. - Thou shalt be visited; literally, shall there be a visitation. On whom the visitation will fall is not expressed; but the context shows that it is on the enemies of Judah. The terrible nature of the visitation is signified by an enumeration of the most fearful of God's judgments - "thunder, earthquake, great noise, whirlwind, tern-pest, and a flame of devouring fire." All the expressions are probably metaphorical. Isaiah 29:6Thus far does the unfolding of the hoi reach. Now follows an unfolding of the words of promise, which stand at the end of Isaiah 29:1 : "And it proves itself to me as Ariel." Isaiah 29:5-8 : "And the multitude of thy foes will become like finely powdered dust, and the multitude of the tyrants like chaff flying away; and it will take place suddenly, very suddenly. From Jehovah of hosts there comes a visitation with crash of thunder and earthquake and great noise, whirlwind and tempest, and the blazing up of devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that gather together against Ariel, and all those who storm and distress Ariel and her stronghold, will be like a vision of the night in a dream. And it is just as a hungry man dreams, and behold he eats; and when he wakes up his soul is empty: and just as a thirsty man dreams, and behold he drinks; and when he wakes up, behold, he is faint, and his soul is parched with thirst: so will it be to the multitude of the nations which gather together against the mountain of Zion." The hostile army, described four times as hâmōn, a groaning multitude, is utterly annihilated through the terrible co-operation of the forces of nature which are let loose upon them (Isaiah 30:30, cf., Isaiah 17:13). "There comes a visitation:" tippâqēd might refer to Jerusalem in the sense of "it will be visited" in mercy, viz., by Jehovah acting thus upon its enemies. But it is better to take it in a neuter sense: "punishment is inflicted." The simile of the dream is applied in two different ways: (1.) They will dissolve into nothing, as if they had only the same apparent existence as a vision in a dream. (2.) Their plan for taking Jerusalem will be put to shame, and as utterly brought to nought as the eating or drinking of a dreamer, which turns out to be a delusion as soon as he awakes. Just as the prophet emphatically combines two substantives from the same verbal root in Isaiah 29:1, and two adverbs from the same verb in Isaiah 29:5; so does he place צבא and צבה together in Isaiah 29:7, the former with על relating to the crowding of an army for the purpose of a siege, the latter with an objective suffix (compare Psalm 53:6) to the attack made by a crowded army. The metsōdâh of Ariel (i.e., the watch-tower, specula, from tsūd, to spy)

(Note: In Arabic, also, masâd signifies a lofty hill or mountain-top, from a secondary form of tsud; and massara, to lay the foundations of a fortified city (‛ı̄r mâtsōr, Psalm 31:22), from tsūr.))

is the mountain of Zion mentioned afterwards in Isaiah 29:8. כּאשׁר, as if; comp. Zechariah 10:6; Job 10:19. אוכל והנּה without הוּא; the personal pronoun is frequently omitted, not only in the leading participial clause, as in this instance (compare Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 40:19; Psalm 22:29; Job 25:2; and Khler on Zechariah 9:12), but also with a minor participial clause, as in Psalm 7:10; Psalm 55:20, and Habakkuk 2:10. The hungering and thirsting of the waking man are attributed to his nephesh (soul: cf., Isaiah 32:6; Isaiah 5:14; Proverbs 6:30), just because the soul is the cause of the physical life, and without it the action of the senses would be followed by no sensation or experience whatever. The hungry stomach is simply the object of feeling, and everything sensitive in the bodily organism is merely the medium of sensation or feeling; that which really feels is the soul. The soul no sooner passes out of the dreaming state into a waking condition, than it feels that its desires are as unsatisfied as ever. Just like such a dream will the army of the enemy, and that victory of which it is so certain before the battle is fought, fade away into nothing.

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